February 20, 2017 | 22:25 (GMT+7)
Students gain insight into pangolin conservation
More than 400 university students have learned about pangolins, the world’s most trafficked mammal, through activities held in Hanoi by the Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) and the students’ association of the Vietnam National University of Forestry.
A photo of pangolin at the exhibition. Photo: baotainguyenmoitruong.vn
Vietnam is home to the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and the Javan pangolin (Manis javanica), both of which are critically endangered.
At a forum on students’ responsibility towards pangolin conservation, participants were told about growing consumption of pangolin meat and scales in Vietnam and China, which is fueled by a false belief that they treat illnesses, pushing the animal close to extinction.
Students were given information about pangolins and the threat of deforestation. SVW also described careers in the field of conservation.
Aside from the forum, students also visited an exhibition featuring photos about pangolin rescue and reintroduction taken by renowned photographers such as Suzi Eszterhas and SVW staff. The photos reflect both the “bright and dark sides” of conservation.
SVW Director Nguyen Van Thai said he is happy that many young people are paying attention to wildlife and conservation. Too many rare animals have become extinct in Vietnam, but the country can still save pangolins if efforts are made immediately, he said.
Statistics show that the SVW rescued and released more than 200 pangolins to the wild in 2016. All hunting and trading of the species in Vietnam is illegal, as is the use of products from pangolin.