Smuggling of pangolins and conservation efforts

August 26, 2021

Recently, Nghe An Police and the Rapid Response Team of Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) have seized 4 live pangolins from illegal wildlife traders.

Wildlife trafficking continues to be complicated.

The Penal Code 2015 (amended in 2017) has given a reasonably high penalty frame for wildlife violations. Accordingly, Article 244 of the Penal Code stipulates that violations of regulations on protecting precious and rare wildlife can be punished by imprisonment for up to 15 years or a fine of up to 15 billion VND. However, illegal hunting, trading, transporting, slaughtering, consuming, and storing wildlife species is complicated.

In the first 3 days of August, the Environmental Police Department, Nghe An Police, discovered and seized 24 tigers and 4 pangolins from 3 different cases. In particular, on the evening of August 1, the functional forces broke the case. They arrested 1 subject for illegally possessing 4 living pangolins.

Through investigation, at about 5:25 p.m. on August 1, in hamlet 8, Dien Lam commune, Dien Chau district, Nghe An province, the special team inspected the restaurant of Cao Xuan Hung (born in 1990), residing in Dien Lam commune, Dien Chau district and discovered the possession of 4 pangolins with a total weight of 21kg.

Officers seized 4 pangolins on August 1, 2021 – SAVE VIETNAM’S WILDLIFE 

Through the struggle, the subject confessed to buying pangolins from a person in Quang Binh province, then transported by passenger car and stored at a restaurant to process into a drink to sell to customers in need. All 4 healthy pangolins were handed over to Pu Mat National Park on the evening of August 1 for care and rescue – then released back to their natural environment.

Efforts to preserve pangolins of wildlife protection organizations

According to the Center for People and Nature (PanNature), over the past decade, an estimated one million pangolins have been poached worldwide, and Vietnam has been identified as one of the hotspots for illegal wildlife trade. To prevent this situation and contribute to the conservation of pangolin species, since 2019, Vietnam CITES Head Office and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have cooperated with the “Project to Preventing and combating illegal trade of wild species, along with the sponsorship of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), for the first time in the world, Vietnam has successfully used an unmanned aerial vehicle with a radio control system. to monitor and study pangolins after being released back into the wild.

Hundreds of pangolins that have been rescued from illegal poaching, trafficking, and trafficking have been fitted with radio transmitters that allow them to be monitored before being released back into the wild.

Re-release of pangolins – SAVE VIETNAM’S WILDLIFE 

According to Mr. Nguyen Van Thai, Director of SVW, SVW has to monitor each pangolin by following the foot track in a large forest area so only a minimal number of individuals can be tracked. However, this difficulty has been solved with the use of radio-tracking systems via drones. The new method can help track and study up to 100 pangolins at a time. The collected information will help the authorities a lot in the future release of pangolins after rescue.

The successful application of modern technology in remote and rugged areas has opened a new era for wildlife tracking and set a new milestone in small animal monitoring by radio waves, contributing to improving the efficiency of wildlife rescue and re-release in Vietnam.

Source: Thanh Nien 


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