Pangolins are currently one of the most trafficked animals on the planet. In 2011, an estimated 8,700-12,500 were seized by authorities for illegal trafficking as reported by TRAFFIC and the Southeast Asian Nations Wildlife Enforcement Network. It is estimated authorities only detect 20% of illegal wildlife trafficking on the black market, which means the total number of Pangolins trafficked in 2011 could be as high as 43,800 to 62,800 Pangolins.
Because of the extremely high illegal trafficking rate, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species has restricted Pangolins as a zero annual export for specimens removed from the wild and traded for primarily commercial purposes . Even with this restriction on the trafficking of Pangolins, they have become extremely rare, making them all the more valuable to poachers. Authorities in many countries have struggled to control the excessive trafficking, which has resulted in the steep decline of the Pangolin population across the world.
For more information on Pangolin trafficking, visit these websites:
International Union for Conservation of Nature
The Project Pangolin