Who: IUCN SSC (International Union for the Conservation of Nature - Species Survival Commission) Pangolin Specialist Group What: Pangolins (Vulnerable, Endangered and Critically Endangered, depending on species) Where: Asia and Africa Why: Pangolins are the world's only truly scaly mammals, and their unique behaviors include scooping up ants and termites with their incredibly long, sticky tongues and curling up into a ball when threatened. Pangolin comes from the Malayan word of "penggulung," which means "roller." There are eight species in total - four in Africa and four in Asia. The Asian species are critically endangered and those in Africa are considered vulnerable, but declining further.
Pangolins are the most illegally traded wild mammals on the planet. They are poached for their meat, which is eaten as a luxury dish in parts off their range, and their scales which are used in Traditional Asian Medicine.
The IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group is a voluntary network of experts from around the world including field biologists, social scientists, zoologists, veterinarians, ecologists, and geneticists, all of whom are actively involved in pangolin research and conservation.