World Pangolin Day

World Pangolin Day

World Pangolin Day

World Pangolin Day is observed around the globe on the third Saturday of every February to celebrate the scaly-skinned mammals that help keep our planet healthy.  

Read on to learn more about these curious mammals, their urgent endangered status, and how to help.   


What is World Pangolin Day?

World Pangolin Day is an annual day dedicated to raising awareness about pangolins, the world's most trafficked mammals. The biggest threat to pangolins is humans and their populations are under serious threat. World Pangolin Day aims to highlight the importance of protecting these unique creatures and their natural habitats. 

The illegal poaching of Pangolins

Pangolins are highly vulnerable to illegal poaching and trafficking due to demand for their scales in traditional medicine. However, there is no scientific evidence in modern medicine to show that pangolin scales have any therapeutic or health benefits.

When is World Pangolin Day?

World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the third Saturday of February each year. The event was first observed in 2012 and has international recognition from animal welfare organisations and individuals worldwide.

By participating in World Pangolin Day in February, you can help in the fight against the illegal trade of pangolins and support the conservation.

A close up picture of a pangolin

How can you celebrate World Pangolin Day?

  • Be a part of the action by unleashing the power of the hashtag #WorldPangolinDay all throughout February. Your voice matters – let's make a roar for pangolin protection and conservation!
  • Subscribe to our newsletter and get ready to advocate. We're on a mission to demonstrate to practitioners of traditional Asian medicine that plant-based alternatives are the future.
  • Act now to stop the cruelty that the wildlife trade for medicine and meat inflicts on the world’s pangolins. With your support, we can keep these shy and environmentally crucial animals in the wild where they belong.


Facts about Pangolins

  1. Rolling is the name - To hide their softer underbellies and to protect themselves, pangolins roll themselves into a tight ball. This is how they get their name from the Malay word ‘penggulung’ meaning roller.   
  2. These creatures are great and small - The largest pangolin is the giant ground pangolin. It can weigh around 33kg with a total length of 180 cm; its smallest cousin, the black-bellied pangolin, weighs up to just 3.6kg.   
  3. Just like us- Pangolin scales are made of keratin, the same material as our human nails. Their scales grow throughout a pangolin’s life and behave like armour, protecting their owners from the sharp teeth and claws of predators.  
  4. The keeper of balance - pangolins do an excellent job of pest control; each one can eat up to 70 million insects annually. This in turn protects food supplies for whole ecosystems, aerates the soil, and allows other insects and mammals (including us humans) to thrive.    
  5. They are vunerable. There are eight species of pangolin: Philippine Pangolin, Sunda Pangolin, Chinese Pangolin, Indian Pangolin, Temminck’s Pangolin, White-bellied Pangolin, Black-bellied Pangolin, Giant Ground Pangolin. 

    According to the IUCN, six species of these are Endangered or Critically Endangered (Red List of Endangered Species.)

Why Pangolins are endangered

The Pangolin, also known as scaly anteaters, are in danger of becoming extinct. It is crucial to save them as they reproduce very slowly, with only one or two offspring in each litter, and usually produce babies once a year. 

This makes it difficult for the wild population to recover from excessive poaching. Although adult pangolins are solitary creatures, baby pangolins rely heavily on their mothers, staying with them for one to two years, depending on the species. At birth, babies are small and have soft, pinkish-white scales, which makes them vulnerable. 

The pangolin habitat

It is essential for mothers to have safe places to care for their babies. Pangolin mothers go to great lengths to protect their young and ensure their survival. They build burrows with complex underground structures, which can have up to ten concealed entrances. They also use hollow trees as temporary homes when searching for food away from their main burrows.

Why Pangolins are trafficked

Sadly, pangolins are the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world with poachers killing as many as 2.7 million every year in Africa alone. 

This seriously threatens their populations and though national and international laws protect all eight pangolin species native to Africa and Asia, illegal traders continue to hunt them for their meat and scales for use in traditional Asian medicine.


Join our fight against the exploitation and commodification of wild animals. Can you lend your voice? 

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