2019 China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation’s Report on Protecting Pangolins and Protecting the Earth with Nigeria (Working Version Part I)
2019/4/21 14:11:00 本站

I. Investigation Report, Summary Statement:


Pangolin is one of the most threatened mammals in the world. The huge market demand and high profits brought about by the so-called "edible and medicinal value" are the catalysts for the smugglers to take risks and become the evil promoters of pangolins to extinction. In recent years, with the sharp decline in the number in the wilderness in China, Southeast Asia, South Asia and other regions, the pangolins and their scales smuggled from Africa are increasing.


Why is Nigeria? Because it is the hardest hit area for the illegal trade of pangolins, it is the most urgent need to pay attention to and solve the issue of illegal trade on pangolins. For example, in May 2017, March 2018, and July 2018, the Customs and Excise Department seized three large-scale smuggling pangolin scales cases, and seized 17.1 tons of pangolin scales, all of which were from Nigeria; On September 28, 2018, the Vietnamese Customs seized more than 2,500 kilograms of pangolin scales and originated in Nigeria. On January 16, 2019, the Customs and Excise Department of Hongkong and the Mainland Customs jointly took action and seized 8,300 kilograms (from about 13,000 pangolins). It showed again was from Nigeria; on April 3, 2019, Singapore seized 12.9 tons of pangolin scales, once again showing from Nigeria... Why, again and again?


At the end of March, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation (CBCGDF) Volunteer “African Worrior” went to Nigeria, the country with the largest population in Africa, and also the third largest trading partner of China in Africa, to investigate the situation of local wildlife including pangolins. Nigeria is located in the southeastern part of West Africa with a total population of 173 million, accounting for 16% of the total population of Africa. In the past 10 years, Nigeria's economy has developed rapidly. By 2016, Nigeria's economy has surpassed South Africa, becoming Africa's NO.1 and the world's 26th largest economy. For the Chinese, as the economic exchanges with Nigeria increase, more and more Chinese people begin to understand Nigeria, and more and more Chinese live in Nigeria.


The CBCGDF volunteer "African Warrior" went to Nigeria to conduct a field survey of the consumption of pangolins. After arriving in Nigeria, “African Warrior” conducted on-the-spot investigation and evidence collection, and found that the local activities of selling pangolins were more severe than imagined, and many people including Chinese living in the local area also had the preference of eating pangolins – the local killing of pangolins has reached an uncontrollable point. It can be seen that the issues about pangolins in Nigeria are becoming more and more serious; the survival of pangolins is increasingly worried by our CBCGDF colleagues. As a responsible non-governmental organization dedicated to the protection of endangered wild species, CBCGDF is duty-bound to assume the corresponding social responsibility for protecting pangolins, resolutely resist the illicit trafficking of pangolins, and maintain a complete heritage of the world of survival for this rare endangered species.

II. Analysis of the causes:

1. A serious lack of awareness of wildlife protection.


“We found that there was almost no wild animal law enforcement in the area, and we couldn’t even feel it at all.”


"...in Nigeria, I don't feel any atmosphere for the protection of wildlife and pangolins - not at all…

When I was departing from Guangzhou, Guangzhou Airport had some signs like a billboard that advocates not to consume pangolins. "


But here, when you get off the plane, you don’t see any publicity advertisements to protect wildlife and protect pangolins. There are no other ways to remind you through social media. I think they can let their government departments publicize and let the Chinese people who travel and work here feel the importance of the protection of wild animals and pangolins. This kind of advocacy is necessary."

2. Chinese people in Nigeria believe that eating pangolins can have magical effects.


CBCGDF “African Warrior”: “The Chinese here can get pangolin almost every week. Maybe because they think the medical conditions here are not good, eating these pangolins can have a magical effect, and after eating, it can improve immunity. They use pangolins for soup every weekend – a very common food for them.”


Eating wild animals is also common for the Chinese here. But locals never eat. Although the local Nigerians are poor, they never eat wild animals. The wild animals caught are sold to Chinese. The Chinese have no wild animals that they don’t eat."


"There are some Chinese who use consuming pangolins as a kind of show-off. In fact, they don't really like this thing. They just think that eating pangolins is more valuable among friends, because in China, pangolins are very expensive, people usually cannot afford to eating pangolins."

3. The lack of supervision.


"When I went to the wildlife meat market two days ago, I took a picture of the policemen. The policemen and the police car were right at the door of the market. It just stopped at the door of the meat market. So, it is a legal issue, so wild animals are not under the control of the law - the police are nearby, but they never care about wildlife."

4. The price of pangolins is very low, resulting in huge interest in smuggling (20 times gap)


Most of the sellers are Chinese. "In this respect, instant earn less, one months can also earn 10,000 RMB yuan or so, of course, because they are working in Nigeria." But it's hard for people who do business to estimate it. Some of them can earn hundreds of thousands of yuan a year, others are up to 1 million or 2 million yuan, and some can even make tens of millions of yuan. Some of China's big communications companies work here at a well-paid level, with annual salaries of more than million. So, the Chinese people in Nigeria are very rich. "


CBCGDF "African Warrior": "...The lad said yesterday was Sunday. Sunday is a day when pangolins sell more and better. Because the Chinese all rest in Sunday, they will go to the market to buy pangolins. The young man sold five pangolins yesterday. Today I saw a pangolin in the market. The lad said it was normal for him to sell 10 pangolins a month. I asked him if he sells the scales of pangolin too, and his answer was yes. If someone wants to buy pangolin scales, they can provide 200 kilograms to 500 kilograms of pangolin scales a month. " "It turned out to be a surprise to me at the time, but my Chinese friend translated and said it was normal in Nigeria, because it was all in kilograms. The young man said he could offer 200 kilograms to 500 kilograms in a month. The scales of pangolins are sold to the Chinese, and the Chinese will smuggle pangolin scales from Nigeria to China.













(Photo credit: CBCGDF volunteer)

By / Niu Jingmei