Pangolins under threat in Gabon as demand surges in Asia

Pangolins and other animals are displayed for sale at the Owendo market in Libreville on August 8, 2014Hunted for generations for its tasty meat, the scaly-skinned pangolin is under threat in Gabon as demand for the small mammal surges in Asia, where it is used in traditional medicine. “People hunt the pangolin like any other meat because the forest is often the only resource” for people in Gabon, more than 80 percent of which is covered by woodland, said Gaspard Abitsi, managing director of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). At a local restaurant in Libreville, the pangolin is one of the stars on the menu. In Gabon, environmental groups are trying to convince villagers of the need to protect the pangolin.

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