one green planet
one green planet

By the time you’ve read this page and clicked on a link or two, at least one pangolin will have been snatched from the wild. Most likely destined for use in traditional Asian medicine, where their scales are highly prized as ingredients, even though they are made of keratin like your fingernails.  

Pangolins are the only mammals with scales. When they’re scared, they roll into a ball, and with their scales, they’re protected from almost all predators. Even tigers and lions are thwarted by the impenetrable scaly ball. But humans just pick them up and carry them away. It’s estimated that one million of these shy scaly mammals were illegally poached over ten years

All eight species of pangolin are now threatened with extinction, and they have the highest levels of protection under the Convention on the International Trade in Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Yet the poaching continues, and despite the unenviable title of the world’s most illegally traded mammal and brief headline grabber as a possible host of SARS-Cov-2 (also known as Covid-19), pangolins remain relatively unknown. 

All may seem lost for these enchanting scaly mammals, but they have their champions. Rangers, anti-poaching teams, vets, wildlife rehabilitators, and conservationists, sometimes putting their lives on the line, are dedicated to saving pangolins. There’s also a growing band of people who’ve come up with some more unusual ways to raise the profile of pangolins. Ways that bring together their passion for saving pangolins and their skills and experience. 

1. Dedicate Your Store to Pangolin Conservation

The House of Manidae in Hudson, NY, proves that shopping doesn’t have to focus solely on making profits. Named after the taxonomic name for the pangolin family, this boutique store donates a portion of all profits to pangolin conservation in Africa. As well as partnering with conservation organizations, they partner with South African artisans to showcase and sell home goods, jewelry, clothing, and more. 

2. Knit One, Purl One for Wildlife

Where crafts and livelihood projects collide, the results are cute toy pangolins. Gogo Olive’s pangolin is hand-knitted by women in Zimbabwe and even wears a cute little sweater. Little Nbada’s crocheted pangolin can roll up into a ball, just like a real pangolin. As well as raising the profile of pangolins, buying from either of these companies empowers women and provides them with financial support.

3. Raise a Glass, or a Coffee Cup, to Pangolins

Whether it’s brunch, lunch, or a night out, there is a place in the world where you can toast a pangolin. For specialty coffees over lunch, there’s Les Café des Pangolins in Nantes, France, and Pangolin Delight in Reno, Nevada. Pangolin Delight offers the additional highlight of being purveyors of homemade Turkish delight. 

In Sheffield in the UK, there’s a bar and bottled beer seller called Pangolin Craft Beer, and anyone on Palawan – the island home of the Philippine pangolin – should head to the Pangolin Bar El Nido for cocktails. Their special cocktail, “The Pangolin“, supports pangolin conservation on the island.

4. Down a Pint for Pangolins 

Thanks to some amazing brewers, supporting pangolins can be as easy as drinking beer. Craft beer brewers also love pangolins, and they’ve brewed up some taste combinations that support pangolin conservation. As a starter, there’s Pango Table Beer from Fauna Brewing and Pangolin Pale Ale from Endangered Brewing in the UK, and Pangolin Defender from the Pacific Plate Brewing Company in California.

5. Choose a Different Tipple

If beer’s not your favored tipple, then how about a gin? Crimson Pangolin Gin is distilled with oriental flavors and aromas in Changsha, China, and Pangolin Gin is distilled with rare African botanicals in Staffordshire in the UK. Both are sold in aid of pangolin conservation charities. Or you can go alcohol-free with a range of organic, biodynamic, and pesticide-free teas from growers who respect nature and protect wildlife from Animal Tea in the UK.

6. Be Your Own Conservation Starter

Pangolins need to be more well-known, and any pangolin fan will know if you wear a pangolin t-shirt, pin badge, or jewelry, it can be a great conversation starter. You just need to be prepared to chat to anyone who asks about pangolins and their plight. Annemarie and Christian have taken it a step further by naming their yacht ‘Sy Pangolin‘. They are accompanied on their voyages by their cute little plush-pangolin friend ‘Chibi’, complete with his own sailors’ hat.

7. Create a Pangolin Character

Some animals are superstars that are featured in multiple books and on the silver screen. Say ‘lion,’ and it’s hard not to think of Simba or Aslan. But say ‘pangolin’ and some people will think that you said ‘penguin’. Author and illustrator Rachel Shaw is trying to change that. Her character, Pipisin Pangolin, started life after she visited the Philippines, but once he got his own Instagram, nothing was stopping him.

He now features in the book “It’s Not My Fault: A Pangolin’s Manifesto”. Over 128 pages of cute illustrations, he puts the record straight on poaching and pandemics and offers advice on how to cope when you want to roll up into a ball and hide from the world.

You may think that you can’t help, but there’s always something you can do. Sharing this story will help raise awareness. Telling your friends about pangolins will increase the number of people who know they exist. Every extra person who knows of their existence is a step closer to ensuring that pangolins don’t slip into extinction. 

Sign this petition to demand that the United Nations, the United States, and South Africa step in and show real commitment to pangolin protection!

Tiny Rescue Animal Collection

Speak Up Tee By Tiny Rescue: Animal Collection

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