A report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a PCF grantee, shows that West and Central Africa have become major hubs for the poaching and exporting of both elephant ivory and pangolin scales to illegal Asian markets. This is made possible by extensive corruption and the absence of effective laws prohibiting such wildlife crime. Armed conflicts in the region have also left lax wildlife protections, making it easy for international syndicates to engage in illegal poaching and trafficking.
Since 2015, Nigeria has been the leading hotspot for the exportation of ivory and pangolin scales from Africa to Asia. Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo also have high levels of wildlife criminal activity. The criminal networks in these three countries are well organized and have been found to utilize major transportation companies to move illegal wildlife products. This corruption is the root that allows poaching and trafficking of pangolins and elephants to continue to grow.
The Pangolin Crisis Fund supports organizations like EIA to help illuminate and combat illegal wildlife criminals that prey upon pangolins and put them at severe risk of extinction.
To read more about the poaching crisis in West and Central Africa, read the full article here. You can also tune into EIA’s podcast about the subject here.