Ten things to do to help pangolins

Pangolins are the world’s only scaly mammals. The word ‘pangolin’ comes from the Malay ‘penngguling’, which means ‘something that rolls up’. When threatened, they roll up into an impenetrable ball.

Despite the fact that there scales are made of keratin, the same as your fingernails and hair, they are killed and their scales removed to be made into medicine. It is estimated that a pangolin is taken from the wild every five minutes. They desperately need your help.

Here’s a few ideas of what you can do.

1. Make a donation

Many of the organisations that work directly with pangolins are small and in need of funds. These are the dedicated people rescue, rehabilitate and re-release pangolins confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade, work to raise awareness in the local communities and help to protect the places where pangolins live.

Why not increase the value of your donation by organising a sponsored event?

Pangolin resuced and released by Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary
Pangolin rescued and released by Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary

2. Adopt a pangolin

Some of the larger international NGOs have pangolin adoption schemes. By adopting a pangolin you are making donation to their pangolin conservation programmes and you get a cute soft toy pangolin in return.

DSWF adoption kit
The adoption pack from the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

3. Organise a cake bake

Raise funds for pangolin conservation by baking pangolin-inspired cakes and selling slices to your friends and colleagues.
For inspiration check out this awesomely cool pangolin cake by Davina Behin Jones.

pangolin cake
Pangolin cake by Davina Behin Jones

Or try baking some pangolin biscuits. This pangolin cookie cutter is available on Etsy. I used it to make these gingerbread pangolins.

Pangolin biscuits

4. Learn more about pangolins and the illegal wildlife trade

The website of the IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group is a great place to start but if you want a more in-depth understanding of the illegal wildlife trade then get a copy of ‘Poached’ by Rachel Love Nuwer.

Book cover of Poached by Rachel Love Nuwer

5. Buy pangolin art, t-shirts or jewelry

Lots of artists and crafters that choose to feature pangolins in their art also give a proportion of their profits to charity. If you buy from them, you’re helping raise funds and by raising awareness simply by wearing a t-shirt! What you wear can be a conversation starter.
Here are a few of my favourites:

pangolin bead necklace

gcf pango-pin

6. Start them young

Get your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews excited about pangolins. Share pangolin facts, colour pangolins or try your hand at some pangolin crafts. Create your own pangolin art or design a poster about pangolins – featuring crazy facts or the issues surrounding the illegal wildlife trade.
Here are my pangolin colouring and craft pages.

Pangolin mom and pangopup colouring page

peeping pangolin

7. Follow Pipisin Pangolin on Instagram

Self-promotion but Pipisin is trying his best to raise awareness of pangolins. He is currently a mascot for WWF and TRAFFIC in China and would love to be friends with you too.
Pipisin Pangolin’s instagram

Pipisin instagram

8. Join a World Pangolin Day event

The second Saturday in February is World Pangolin Day. In 2019 it’s on Saturday 16 February, there are some organised events:

If there isn’t an event near you, hold your own pangolin party.

9. Write to your political representative

Tell them about pangolins and ask them what your government is doing to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. Politicians represent us, the people, but it they don’t know what we care about then they might not take action.
If you see pangolins for sale in markets, restaurants or online, report it to the authorities.

10. Share

Share your love and concern for pangolins on social media. Post pictures of your World Pangolin Day celebrations; your artwork or cakes, or a selfie wearing pangolin t-shirt.

Share with your favourite celebrity or influencer, tell them about pangolins and perhaps they’ll support the conservation of these special animals too.

Use #WorldPangolinDay #Pangolin #ScalingUpPangolinConservation

pangolin release by Save Vietnam's Wildlife
Two of the lucky ones – rescued and released back into the wild where they belong by Save Vietnam’s Wildlife

 

 

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