Pangolin scales are extremely rare and the pangolin is the only animal with its type of scales. They are delicacy in China because of the belief of health benefits associated with its meat. Another reason for there decline in population is because of deforestation but any pangolin hunted or found in trafficking is usually heading to China.
Pangolin meat is used in tratitional Chinese medicine practices and is eaten as a delicacy. A poacher can rake in about $500-$700 US dollars for one pangolin, making the pangolin popular among poaching rackets. Laws are enacted to protect the pangolin, yet they are not very effective nor are they enforced properly, and poaching continues. This is a serious problem, since their diet of termites and ants provides a vital natural pest control service to regions in which they live.
The pangolin is thought to be magical. People mix their dried scales with the bark of certain trees and this concoction is thought to ward off evil spirits and neutralize witchcraft. It is believed that if a woman buries the scales near a man’s door she will have power over him. The pangolin is also sacrificed in rain-making ceremonies in some areas and hunted for meat in others.
Pangolins are mainly hunted for their meat which is considered a delicacy in parts of Asia, and their scales which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. They do not breed efficiently due to them just being naturally slow breeders. Therefore, their population is not replenished at all.
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