Forever Extinct #7 – Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla)
The pangolin, often mistaken for a reptile, is actually a scaly-skinned mammal, today critically endangered and listed in the red list of the IUCN since 2013.
When pangolins feel to be in danger, they roll into a ball exposing only the hard scales for protection.
It is difficult to estimate the population size of those animals, but it is believed to be in strong decline due to the demand of pangolin meat and scales. They are indeed the most trafficked wild animals in Asia, plus their traffic is greatly increasing in Africa, too.
They are illegally sold mainly in Vietnam and China, places where their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are used in traditional medicine, as remedy for different health issue – from asthma to rheumatisms – even if there are no evidences that those are effectively curative: after all, they are just made of keratin (like our nails and hairs).