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.
- Save Vietnam’s Wildlife
- Rest Namibia
- Tikki Hywood Trust
- Libassa Wildlife Sanctuary in Liberia
- IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group
Why not increase the value of your donation by organising a sponsored event?
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.
- Adopt Marimba with the David Shepherd Foundation
- Adopt Pangi with the Born Free Foundation
- Adopt a pangolin with WWF
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.
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.
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:
- Global Conservation Force – Pipisin Pangolin enamel pin
- Silver pangolin pendant by Jewellery by Em on Etsy
- Handpainted bead necklace by BiophiliaSG on Etsy
- Pangolin postcard set and pin badges and stickers by thejlee on Etsy
- Pangolins of the World t-shirt by rohanchak on Redbubble
- … and my own pangolin illustrations on Redbubble 🙂
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.
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
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.
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