MMO News
July 26, 2018

About a ton of pangolin scales, considered the world’s most smuggled
mammal, as well as “huge quantities of ivory,” was seized by Angolan
authorities in the first half of 2018, the official source told Lusa on

“From the results of the seizures, at the moment, 60 codes of various types
of ivory and approximately 1,000 kilograms of pangolin scales have been
inventoried, we are still compiling the numbers,” said the head of the
Biodiversity Management department of the Ministry of Environment Angola,
Albertina Nzuzi.

Pangolin is a mammal living in tropical Asia and Africa. Speaking to Lusa
on the sidelines of the second meeting of the Group of Experts on the
Implementation of the African Strategy to Combat Illegal Exploitation and
Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora, the official revealed that poachers in the
country are now “focused on slaughter” of pangolins for the extraction of
their scales.

“Drug traffickers who are prized for slaughtering wildlife species now tend
to leave elephants and go to smaller species, such as pangolin. Only in
these past two weeks have we seized enormous quantities of pangolin scales,
which is now being the victim of these traffickers,” he explained.

Angola has 30 species endangered mainly due to the effects of poaching
among mammals, birds, reptiles and fish, and officially recognizes three
extinct species, according to the so-called Red List of Endangered Species
of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ) and the Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD).

According to Albertina Nzuzi, the situation of poaching in the country “is
worrying”, at a time when, following the “Red List”, Angola continues to
“develop studies to present more specific data” on other species in this
condition. “The latest viable data we have had was made in the ’70s. As a
result, the country is currently conducting a series of species
investigations involving mappings for credible data,” he said.

But the “Red List”, he said, “is already a portrait of the survey of those
species that we think should be in extinction.”

“We have to protect them and so they are on the red list so we can pay more
attention to their conservation and protection,” he added.

Asked about surveillance measures to reverse the “worrying and alarming
picture” of poaching in Angola, the CITES focal point also advocated
“harmonization of criminal policies” at the level of Southern African
Development Community (SADC) countries.

“We have information that many hunters who come hunting on the borders of
our country also come from border countries, because the criminal frame in
the countries of origin is high, while in Angola it is bland,” he added.
“Therefore, they prefer to hunt in our country, so we wanted here to call
for the harmonization of policies in the SADC countries, regarding the
criminalization of environmental crimes,” he said.

The second meeting of the Group of Experts on the Implementation of the
African Strategy to Combat the Illegal Exploitation and Trade of Wild Fauna
and Flora in Africa takes place in the Angolan capital until Friday.

This news service is provided by Save the Elephants.