The Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis) is facing an “extremely high risk of extinction”, international conservationists said recently.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species on Tuesday reclassified Philippine pangolin as a critically endangered species, formerly listed as endangered for the past seven years.
Dr. Sabine Schoppe, pangolin expert conservationist, in a press statement Thursday said that despite conservation efforts, the Philippines’ only pangolin species found in Palawan was given its critically endangered status because its population is expected to face an 80 percent decline in the next 21 years, or within the next three generations of pangolins.
“Pangolins, including the Palawan pangolin, finally get the attention they deserve. Unfortunately, the attention came very late—at the time that the species is already facing extinction,” the email said.
New data on exploitation levels of Philippine pangolins, primarily for international illegal trade, collected since the previous assessment in 2013 has led to this reclassification and means the species is closer to extinction than previously thought.
According to the IUCN Red List, species classed as Critically Endangered are considered to face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
The Philippine pangolin is only found on Palawan and the adjacent islands in the Philippines. Its restricted range and likely small population size mean it is highly vulnerable and especially given the recent upgrade to its extinction risk, of high conservation concern.
Since the last assessment in 2013, pangolin conservation has received considerable investment and attention which means that more research than ever was produced into the global status of pangolins. This has provided a more accurate insight into the conservation status of pangolins, resulting in the category changes.
Read the full assessment here: https://bit.ly/355Q9PF