By Moses Nyirenda
Lilongwe, February 25, Mana: Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) have bemoaned the increase in trafficking of a wild mammal known as Pangolin and have since called upon the public to take part in protecting the animal.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) LWT Campaigns Manager, Samantha Nampuntha, said cases of Pangolin trafficking in the country have increased over the years a situation she described as worrisome.
She, therefore, said there is urgent need for public awareness in order to mitigate the challenge saying people should first know what a pangolin is so that they protect it.
Nampuntha said the public has a role to play in the protection of Pangolins by avoiding trade of the animal species as well as discouraging others from getting involved in trade and trafficking of protected animals.
“Malawi Government has shown commitment to protect the species by establishing laws and enforcing them through arrests and convicts. However, what is missing is awareness to people outside the conservation sector hence the urgent need for awareness,” she said.
DNPW Director, Brighton Kumchedwa, said the Department is committed to develop initiatives aimed at combating Pangolin trafficking.
Such initiatives include raising public awareness on the positive impact of Pangolins to the country’s development.
Kumchedwa, therefore, urged the public to join hands with DNPW and LWT in the protection of protected species such as pangolins.
It is reported that Pangolins are trafficked in the country and mostly sold to Chinese residents who regard Pangolin meat as a delicacy, in addition to that its scales are reported to be used for rituals.
LWT and DNPW have since launched awareness campaigns focusing on protection of Pangolins.