PANGOLIN PHOTOS: Fetus Soup, Other "Cures" Drive Trade

PANGOLIN PHOTOS: Fetus Soup, Other
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Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine value treatments derived from pangolin scales--such as these found in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2008--for treating allergies. Pangolins are now being hunted to the edge of extinction in Asia, a July 2009 report says.

The mammals' plummeting numbers could have nasty side effects, because pangolins perform millions of dollars' worth of pest control.

"We cannot afford to overlook their ecological role as natural controllers of termites and ants," said Simon Stuart, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, in a statement.
— Photograph courtesy WWF/TRAFFIC/IUCN
 
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