It was a monumental win for pangolin conservation as all 8 pangolin species were uplisted to Appendix I at the CITES Convention of the Parties in Johannesburg several days ago.
This means that all 8 species of pangolins are banned from all international commercial trade.
It was a near unanimous decision by the parties to uplist pangolins, with only one country voting against.
It was striking to see NGOs (non-governmental organizations) unite with the shared goal to support the uplisting of all 8 pangolin species.
Placing all pangolin species on Appendix I will encourage more stringent protections within countries where pangolins occur. It also sends a message to poachers and consumers: that pangolins are faced with extinction and there are serious repercussions to engaging in the illegal trade.
The fight to save pangolins does not stop here. Although this marks a big win for pangolins, much more needs to be done to reduce the threat of extinction. More investment is needed from governments, strengthening ties between conservation groups is essential, and stricter enforcement must be a priority. Meanwhile, people around the world need to be made aware of pangolins and the threats facing them.
We at Save Pangolins are only getting started.