Expanding federal protection would prohibit the import and sale of pangolins and their parts in the US and raise global awareness about the pangolin's plight.
In addition, the coalition filed a petition under the "Similarity of Appearance" provision of the Endangered Species Act. Essentially - since all pangolins closely resemble each other and law enforcement officials have difficulty distinguishing them - a successful Similarity of Appearance provision would elevate all pangolins' protection status to that of the Temminck's Ground species, effectively banning the trade and import of all pangolins in the United States.
The pangolin's numbers are rapidly dwindling. An Endangered Species Act listing is an important and necessary step to end the US's role in declining pangolin populations and would set an example for the rest of the world.
Until then, we remain complicit in this truly unique species' decline.
- Jeffrey Flocken