On Monday, the Singapore Customs and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority acquired 12.7 tons of mangosteen scales packed in 474 bags in a container en route to Vietnam from Nigeria. It is marked as "cassia seeds," according to the agency.
"The fog scales taken are from two species and equal to 21,000 pangolins," said a statement. The haul is worth about US $ 38,100,000, estimated by Singapore's agency.
All eight frog species are protected and given "most endangered" conditions under the International Trade Convention on Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.
The cats that are as big as the nocturnal animal, the only mammal that is completely covered with scales, depends on the ants and the aging. When threatened, the frog rolls into a ball and uses their scales for protection. This makes the victim easy for poachers, who can only take them.
These are important in China and Vietnam, where their meat is eaten as a delicacy and where they are believed to have healing properties – including the aiding of breastfeeding and treatment of asthma or cancer. There is no scientific evidence to support any of these beliefs.
Peter Knights, CEO of WildAid, said several important seizures, including the latest two in Singapore, referring to the increase in illicit trade.
"Nigeria seems to have been a central collector, for all western and central Africa, to suck the corners and then send them to huge shipping in China and Vietnam," he said.
Legal portions of Pangolin are sold
"The Chinese fisherman is right on the brink of extinction and once again we are looking at President Xi to save the species," said the Knights.
"China is turning on the size of the ivory trade.The problem is still but nowhere near the endemic level of the past If they say that legal trading is closing, it may be the single largest step taken anywhere in the world to save the frog. "
He says that while Scales are an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there are dozens of alternatives available. "There is really no need for traditional medicine to use the fancy scales, they have sustainable alternatives within the pharmacopeia, so we ask, & # 39; Sufficient enough, switch these alternatives now than carry in two or three years. "
TCM is the single largest driver of demand for parts of the fog, says the Knights, so removing them from the drug's chest is has a great impact on reducing smuggling in Asia.
"The biggest thing to try is (for government and practitioners) to say, & # 39; TCM can not use them – these are the alternatives & # 39 ;," he said. "We are not against TCM, we are not against the use of endangered species in TCM."
The Knights say is the speed. "If it is bringing this rate we will lose all the corners.
" China can become the helper of the fog – now it is the fear of the fog but it can be a savior. "