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Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR

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TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR i
OBSERVATIONS OF THE ILLEGAL
PANGOLIN TRADE IN LAO PDR
REPORT
SEPTEMBER 2016 Lalita Gomez, Boyd T.C. Leupen and Sarah Heinrich
TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC, the wild life trade monitoring
net work, is the leading non-governmental
organization working globally on trade in
wild animals and plants in the context of both
biodiversity conservation and sustainable
development. TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of
WWF and IUCN.
Reprod uction of material appearing in this
report requires written permission from
the publisher.
e designations of geographical entities in
this publication, and the presentation of the
material, do not imply the expression of any
opinion whatsoever on the part of TRAFFIC
or its supporting organizations con cern ing
the legal status of any country, territory, or
area, or of its authorities, or concerning the
delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
e views of the authors expressed in this
publication are those of the writers and do not
necessarily reect those of TRAFFIC,
WWF or IUCN.
Published by TRAFFIC.
Southeast Asia Regional Oce
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Taman SEA, 47400 Petaling Jaya
Selangor, Malaysia
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Copyright of material published in this report
is vested in TRAFFIC.
© TRAFFIC 2016.
ISBN no: 978-983-3393-54-1
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Suggested citation: Gomez, L., Leupen, B
T.C., Heinrich, S. (2016). Observations of the
illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR. TRAFFIC,
Southeast Asia Regional Oce, Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia.
Front cover photograph: Sunda Pangolin
Credit: David Tan/Wildlife Reserves Singapore
TRAFFIC REPORT
Lalita Gomez, Boyd T.C Leupen and Sarah Heinrich
OBSERVATIONS OF THE ILLEGAL
PANGOLIN TRADE IN LAO PDR
Sunda Pangolin
© David Tan/Wildlife Reserves Singapore
© David Tan/Wildlife Reserves Singapore
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR ii
Acknowledgements
Executive Summary
Introduction
Methods
Seizure data
Market survey
Results
Seizure data
Market survey
Discussion
Lao PDR as a transit country
Chinese and Vietnamese demand
Key routes and commodities traded
Law enforcement
Conclusion
Recommendations
References
TABLE OF CONTENTS
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TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDRiii
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora
CNY Chinese Yuan
EIA Environmental Investigation Agency
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature
LAK Lao Kip
Lao PDR Lao Peoples Democratic Republic
NGO Non-Governmental Organization
SEZ Special Economic Zone
TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine
USD US Dollar
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
e authors would like to thank their TRAFFIC colleagues in Southeast Asia, especially Or Oi
Ching, Kanitha Krishnasamy, Elizabeth John and Jamie Bouhuys for their valuable participation in
this study’s market surveys, and Xiao Yu for his contribution of seizure data. From the University of
Adelaide (UoA), many thanks are due to Talia A. Wittmann for providing us with useful comments
and help with the seizure analysis and omas A. A. Prowse for helping with the development of
the tracking network structure. Chris R. Shepherd (TRAFFIC) is thanked for his support and
invaluable feedback throughout the writing process. We also thank, Mary Rowen (USAID), Phillip
Cassey (UoA) and our TRAFFIC colleagues Nick Ahlers, James Compton, Xiao Yu and Xu Ling for
kindly reviewing this report.
Particular thanks are given to the United States Agency for International Development for providing
the resources to complete this assessment as part of the global Wildlife Tracking, Response,
Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife-TRAPS) Project. Australia Zoo and Australia Zoo
Wildlife Warriors are also thanked for generously funding and supporting our work in the SEA
region.
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR iv
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Pangolins are the most heavily tracked mammal in the world. All eight extant pangolin species
are currently listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), prohibiting any uncertied international trade. In addition,
a zero quota for CITES exports of all four Asian species was established in 2000. Despite these
measures, pangolins continue to be threatened by increasing levels of illegal wildlife trade.
Lao Peoples Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) is known to play an important role in the
international wildlife trade and is a range country for two pangolin species, Sunda Pangolin Manis
javanica, and Chinese Pangolin M. pentadacytla. Its wildlife laws currently fail to protect non-native
pangolin species and do not meet the requirements for the eective implementation of CITES.
In addition to having weak legislation, Lao PDR is strategically located next to China, Myanmar,
ailand and Viet Nam and forms an important transit hub for these countries, which all have an
active wildlife trade prole for aspects of supply, transit and end-use demand.
is report explores Lao PDR’s role in the illegal pangolin trade and discusses the ndings of two
market surveys, conducted in several locations as well as the outcomes of an analysis of pangolin
seizures that involved Lao PDR as either an origin, transit, seizure or destination country between
2010 and 2015.
Opportunistic market surveys were conducted between April 2016 and July 2016 within seven cities
in the northern regions of Lao PDR. An estimated total of 2734 pangolin scales were found in 13
shops at these dierent locations. e largest quantity of scales was observed in Luang Prabang,
with an estimated 1200 scales found in two shops. Prices for pangolin scales ranged from USD1/
(small) piece to USD1/gram, with large scales sometimes weighing as much as 20 grams. Lao
PDRs pangolin trade appeared to be mainly focused on a Chinese clientele in the areas surveyed.
Shop owners and employees were predominantly of Chinese ethnicity and prices were oen given
in Chinese Yuan (CNY). In Luang Prabang and Vientiane, pangolin products were mostly found
in popular tourist spots, alongside other illegal wildlife products such as elephant ivory and rhino
horn.
Forty-three reported pangolin seizures involving Lao PDR were recorded between 2010 and 2015,
involving an estimated 5678 pangolins. Most of these seizures involved shipments being smuggled
into the country from ailand and out to China and/or Viet Nam. In ve incidents shipments
were conrmed to originate from Africa, conrming the increasing occurrence of African-sourced
pangolin trade which complements and substitutes supply from the four declining Asian species.
e large discrepancy between observed local trade and the seizure records conrms Lao PDRs role
as a transit country in the international pangolin trade. Improved control of Lao PDRs pangolin
trade will be an essential step in reducing the global pangolin trade. In order to achieve this,
TRAFFIC recommends the following:
CITES and national legislation
Proposals to list all eight pangolin species in Appendix I of CITES should be supported
at CoP17 (i.e. Proposals 8 and 12) as this places an overall higher degree of international
protection, and will enhance eorts to safeguard pangolins and support regulatory control
mechanisms by non-range States.
National legislation requires urgent improvement to enable eective law enforcement, which
is currently ineectual due to weaknesses in the law that prevent arrests, prosecutions and
convictions. Currently considered a Category 3 country by the CITES National Legislation
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDRv
Project, meaning that its "legislation (…) is believed generally not to meet the requirements for
the implementation of CITES", Lao PDR needs to amend its national wildlife laws to incorporate
CITES implementing legislation, including legislation protecting all species of pangolins not
native to the country and providing for stricter deterrents / penalties for serious wildlife-
related oences, especially when perpetrated through organized groups, transnationally and
repetitively.
Law Enforcement
Law enforcement capacity should be enhanced to improve proactive investigation into
international wildlife crime in general and the pangolin trade in particular. Multi-agency
collaboration, both at national and international levels, should be enhanced to tackle the
international and organized criminal networks involved in smuggling pangolins across Lao
PDRs borders. is should include members of Lao PDR Wildlife Enforcement Network
(WEN), notably the environmental police, Customs, the Department of Forest Inspections
(DOFI), prosecutors and judges, to investigate mid-high prole cases that involve organized and
transboundary activities.
Increased surveillance of trade in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and in the other trade
“hotspots” identied in this report is also needed.
Increased prosecution rates including more severe penalties should be realized in order to deter
potential wildlife criminals.
Lao PDR should aim to improve its reporting to the CITES Secretariat as per the new annual
illegal trade reporting requirements i.e. CITES Notication 007 that was issued in February
2016. Seizure reports, including comprehensive accounts of actions and outcomes, specics
of seizure and prosecution details are imperative to the analysis of the country’s wildlife trade
levels and trends, and, eventually, a better understanding of the international illegal wildlife
trade.
Better co-operation and co-ordination between the Customs agencies of Lao PDR and ailand
is required in order to increase detection rates along the Lao-ai border (which has proven to
be a crucial transit point in the international pangolin trade).
Better co-operation and co-ordination is also needed between Lao PDR and China and Viet
Nam, which should include extra vigilance concerning exports from Lao PDR to these two
countries.
In the case of Chinese citizens caught smuggling wildlife products from Lao PDR into China, or
involved in illegal purchase, sale or transport of protected species in Lao PDR, moving seizures
and apprehension of suspects to prosecution (in both Lao PDR and China) would help increase
deterrents to illegal wildlife trade.
Future Research
Continued research into Lao PDR’s role in the international illegal wildlife trade in general,
and the pangolin trade in particular, is needed in order to obtain a current and improved
understanding of the trade levels and dynamics in this crucial transit hub. Such research should
include seizure analyses and market monitoring, especially in SEZs.
Beyond Lao PDR, additional research into the global pangolin trade will help guide law
enforcement eorts, with the goal of improving the eectiveness of interventions. Such research
should include: 1) continued research into the Asian pangolin trade, including seizure and trade
route analyses, and drivers of demand; 2) increased research into the trade of African pangolin
species to Asia, including seizure and trade route analyses, and drivers of demand.
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 1
INTRODUCTION
Pangolins Manidae spp. are currently the most heavily tracked mammals in the world. Largely
desired for their meat and scales, these small-bodied insectivorous mammals are highly sought aer
in China (Shepherd, 2008; Challender, 2011; Harrison et al., 2015; Nijman et al., 2016) and also
Viet Nam (Challender and Hywood, 2012). Estimates show that more than one million pangolins
have been illegally traded since the year 2000 (Challender et al., 2014a). is illegal trade poses
a direct threat to all eight pangolin species. Two of the four Asian species, the Chinese Pangolin
Manis pentadactyla and the Sunda Pangolin M. javanica are currently classied as Critically
Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List (Challender
et al., 2014b, Challender et al., 2014c), while the other two Asian species, the Indian Pangolin M.
crassicaudata and the Philippine Pangolin M. culionensis are classied as Endangered. All four
African species are classied as Vulnerable. With the decline of the Asian pangolin species, the
illegal trade in Asia now increasingly involves African species, which are shipped to and through a
variety of Asian countries to supply the local markets (Challender and Hywood, 2012; Gomez et al.,
2016; Shepherd et al., 2016).
It is widely agreed that immediate action is needed in order to save pangolins from extinction,
which has spurred increased eorts, including the draing of a conservation action plan
(Challender et al., 2014a). With the depletion of pangolin populations in China, the country’s
pangolin market now relies heavily on supply ows from neighbouring countries (Challender, et al.,
2016; Nijman et al., 2016). A recent study into the pangolin trade in Myanmars Mong La district
found large quantities of pangolin products to be openly available, most of which was destined for
the Chinese market (Nijman et al., 2016). Similarly, supply is increasingly moving through Lao
People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
Lao PDR is a landlocked country, bordering China, Viet Nam, Cambodia, ailand and Myanmar.
Its total land mass measures 236 800 km². e country was once a haven for thousands of species
of owering plants and hundreds of species of birds and mammals (Nooren and Claridge, 2001).
Unfortunately, wild populations of Laotian ora and fauna have declined due to continuing pressure
from habitat conversion and unsustainable harvest and trade of wildlife (Phanthavong, 2008). Its
geographical location, weak environmental laws, poor enforcement and high corruption levels
have made the country a persistent hub of increasing global signicance for illegal wildlife trade
(Duckworth et al., 1999; Anon., 2015a; Anon., 2015b). Previous research suggested that Lao PDR
plays an important role as both a source and transit country for wildlife tracking (Phanthavong,
2008). In recent years, the country has been implicated in numerous criminal incidents involving
rhino horn, elephant ivory, Tiger Panthera tigris parts, turtles and pangolins (Anon., 2015b).
Lao PDR’s involvement in the international pangolin trade goes back at least several decades, with
pangolins being among the most heavily traded animals in the 1980s and 1990s (Duckworth et al.,
1999). During this time, the majority of all wildlife conscations in Lao PDR involved pangolins
(Nooren and Claridge, 2001). Both the Sunda Pangolin and the Chinese Pangolin are native to
Lao PDR. ese two species are protected under the country’s Wildlife and Aquatic Act 2007,
in which they are classied in the rst Prohibition category. Animals listed in this category are
considered “rare, near extinct, (of) high value and (…) of special importance in the development of
social-economic, environmental, educational, scientic research. e Act prohibits the unlicensed
extraction and/or possession of pangolins or their parts. Any violation of the Act that involves
damage to the species” of 200 000 Lao Kip (LAK) (approximately US Dollar (USD) 24) and over,
will result in a ne worth double the damage (triple the damage in case of a repeated oence) and/or
a prison sentence of three months to ve years. No further explanation is given as to what is meant
by the rather vague notion of “damage to the species, nor is it made clear how the monetary value
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR2
of such damage is determined. Lao PDR has been Party to the Convention on International Trade
in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since May 2004. All pangolin species are
currently listed in Appendix II of CITES, prohibiting any uncertied international trade. In the
year 2000 a zero annual CITES export quota was established for all four wild caught Asian pangolin
species traded for primarily commercial purposes (Anon., 2000).
© David Tan/Wildlife Reserves Singapore
Sunda Pangolin
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 3
METHODS
Seizure data
Pangolin seizure data for the period 2010–2015 were extracted from a variety of sources, including
TRAFFIC publications, open source media, Customs, police, CITES reports, grey literature and
several non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Only seizure records that involved Lao PDR as a
seizure, origin, transit or destination country were included in the analysis. A “seizure country” was
dened as the country where the seizure took place, an “origin country” was dended as the rst
known point of a trade route, a “transit country” was dened as a country which had functioned
as both an importing and a re-exporting country in the trade route, and a “destination country”
was dened as the last known point of a trade route. It should be noted that the reported seizures
are likely only to represent a fraction of the illegal trade (see Nijman 2015), and will therefore
underrepresent its true extent.
e acquired seizure data were analysed for summary statistics, general trends relating to the
commodity types being traded, and the countries involved during the research period. All analyses
were conducted in the R soware (version 3.3.1) environment for graphical computing and statistics
(R Core Team, 2015). In order to visualise the geographical network of pangolin trade around Lao
PDR through time, the previous country in the trade chain (“exporter”) and the following country
in the trade chain (“importer”) were identied regardless of the countries’ role (i.e. seizure, origin,
transit, or destination country). e R package “igraph” (Csardi and Nepusz, 2006) was used to
construct a network diagram representing the trade ow between these countries.
In order to quantify the number of pangolins implicated in the trade, those that were not reported
as entire animals were converted into “whole pangolins”. e average weight of each pangolin
species was assumed following Gaubert (2011). In cases where the species of the seized individuals
was unknown the average weight across pangolin species (the weight of the heaviest pangolin
species (Giant Ground Pangolin Manis gigantea) plus the weight of the lightest pangolin species
(White-bellied Pangolin M. tricuspis) divided by two) was used for the analysis. In these cases, the
scale weight per pangolin was assumed, according to Zhao-Min et al. (2012) and Heath (1992a,
1992b). For one incident where White-bellied Pangolin and Giant Ground Pangolin were reported,
the known scale weights for Sunda Pangolin and Temminck’s Ground Pangolin M. temminckii
respectively were taken into account (Heath 1992a; Zhao-Min et al., 2012) as they are similar. In
one case where the scale quantity was unknown, one individual was assumed to be required for the
shipment. For one incident with 16 reported scales, it was assumed that a minimum of one and a
maximum of 16 pangolins were required, and the average (whole number) was used in subsequent
analysis. For another incident where 40 “medicinals” were reported, at least one pangolin and a
maximum of 40 pangolins were assumed to be involved, and again the average whole number
of pangolins was used. e same was done for ve reported skin pieces. In another incident,
pangolins along with other animals were reported as weighing 150 kg. It was assumed that half of
the reported weight was made up by pangolins and again the average weight of the heaviest and the
lightest pangolin species was used for subsequent analysis.
A generalized linear multivariate regression model was tted to test for the relative change in the
number of whole seized pangolins (log10 transformed), in relation to: 1) the number of incidents;
and 2) time.
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR4
Market survey
Opportunistic market surveys were conducted between 18 and 28 April 2016 and between 19
and 21 July 2016. During this period, seven cities in the northern regions of Lao PDR were
visited: Vientiane (the country’s capital), Luang Prabang (one of the country’s main tourist spots),
Luang Namtha, Muang Sing, Boten (all near the border with China), the Golden Triangle Special
Economic Zone (SEZ) (in Bokeo Province) and Houayxay (on the border with ailand)
(Figure 1). Only Vientiane was visited twice (18–21 and 26–28 April), but dierent parts of the city
were covered during each visit. ese cities were selected on the basis of previous research into Lao
PDRs wildlife trade, which had identied them as important (Chinese) tourist destinations and/
or (potential) wildlife trade hubs (Nijman and Shepherd, 2012). It should be noted that because of
this, the customer preferences and the demand for pangolin products in these cities is likely to dier
from those in other Laotian cities.
Survey locations included public markets, street stalls, public malls, traditional medicine shops,
hotel shops, tourist markets and tourist shops. Shops were visited opportunistically, meaning that
no predetermined list of shops was used during the survey. Shops were selected based on the type
of products that could be observed for sale. Only those shops that were found to have pangolin
products for sale were recorded and included in this report. Price information was only acquired
in some cases as some vendors were unwilling to share such information with the investigators.
Prices were provided in Chinese Yuan (CNY), LAK or USD. In case of the former two, prices
were converted at a conversion rate of 1 USD = 6.66 CNY and 1 USD = 7,947.69 LAK, respectively
(https://www.oanda.com/currency/converter/, accessed on 10 August 2016). Photographic evidence
was obtained opportunistically.
Identifying dierent pangolin species by their scales can be a dicult task; there is considerable
overlap in size between all but the largest scales of the dierent species (Nijman et al., 2016). When
scales are sealed in plastic bags and/or displayed out of reach, there is no reliable way of determining
the species. erefore, no distinction is made between the dierent pangolin species in the survey
results. Although it is likely that most pangolin products in Lao PDR belong to any of the three
continental” Asian species (i.e. Sunda Pangolin, Chinese Pangolin and Indian Pangolin), the
remaining ve species may also be on sale. Especially in stores where pangolin products are found
next to (presumably African) ivory, the possibility that the pangolins were also imported from
Africa should be considered.
Muang Sing market
© E.John/TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 5
Source: TRAFFIC
Figure 1: Market survey locations within the northern regions of Lao PDR between April and
July 2016.
Luang Namtha Day Market
© E.John/TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR6
RESULTS
Seizure data
Between 2010 and 2015, Lao PDR was involved in a total of 43 reported tracking incidents, in
which it was either a seizure (2.3 %), origin (32.6 %), transit (44.2 %) or destination country
(23.3 %). e total number of all illegally traded commodities during the period of 2010–2015
accounted for an estimated c.5678 whole pangolins. e volumes of estimated whole seized
pangolins increased signicantly through time during the research period (estimate [log] ± SE =
0.21 ± 0.05, t = 4.32, P = 0.02, R2 = 0.77), regardless of the number of incidents (estimate [log] ± SE
=0.01 ± 0.04, t = 0.34, P = 0.75) (Figure 2).
Figure 2: (a) e number of incidents and (b) the generalized linear multivariate regression
(estimate [log] ± SE =-0.21 ±0.04, t = 4.89, P = 0.01) between the volumes of pangolins
(measured in the number of estimated whole pangolins) in the illegal trade involving Lao PDR
through time.
A total of 29 imports into Lao PDR and a total of 34 exports from Lao PDR were recorded
(Figure 3). None of the countries that exported pangolins to Lao PDR were also found to import
pangolins from Lao PDR at a dierent time during the research period, and vice versa. Pangolins
and their parts were in most cases smuggled from ailand into Lao PDR (75.9 % of imports),
or from Malaysia (10.3 % of imports), Africa (6.9 % of imports), Singapore (3.5 % of imports) or
France (3.5 % of imports). Most pangolin exports from Lao PDR were destined for China (47.1 %
of exports), Viet Nam (38.2 % of exports), or the United States (14.7 % of exports).
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 7
Figure 3: Network of pangolin tracking incidents, not showing complete trade routes, but
rather shipments directly going in and out of Lao PDR (central circle). Darker lines and larger
circles indicate a greater number of links, with the maximum being 22 links between ailand
(TH) and Lao PDR in the period 2010 to 2015. e colour red within the circles represents
exports; blue represents imports and the following abbreviations were used: FR = France, CN
= China, AF = ‘Africa’, VN = Viet Nam, US = United States of America, TH = ailand, SG =
Singapore, MY = Malaysia.
A total of 11 countries were involved in the pangolin trade with Lao PDR (Table 1 ). All seized
shipments originating from African countries (n=5) consisted of scales, while all other shipments
in or out of Lao PDR (presumably from Asia) were either live animals (n=18), “individuals” (whole
animals, but uncertain whether dead or alive) (n=11 incidents), scales (n=2), a mix of live animals
and scales (n=3), dead animals (n=1), claws, tails and skin pieces (n=2), and “medicinals” (n=1).
Eleven incidents reportedly involved the Sunda Pangolin, while the Chinese Pangolin, the
White-bellied Pangolin, and the Giant Ground Pangolin were all reported in one incident each. All
other incidents only reported “pangolins” (Manis spp.).
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR8
Table 1: e number of pangolin seizures involving Lao PDR per country during the period
2010–2015.
Country Number of Incidents
Lao PDR 43
ailand 22
Viet Nam 14
China 18
Malaysia 12
United States of America 5
Nigeria 3
Indonesia 2
“A f r i c a ” 1
France 1
Kenya 1
Singapore 1
Shipments from Africa constituted 11.6 % of all incidents. e rst incident occurred in 2013, when
263 kg scales from two African species (White-bellied Pangolin and Giant Ground Pangolin) were
seized from a bus in Viet Nam coming from Vientiane, Lao PDR. A shipment destined for Lao PDR,
in 2014, involved 250 kg of pangolin scales originating in Nigeria and transiting via France, where
it was seized. In another incident from 2014, 6 bags containing another 263 kg of pangolin scales
were seized in Viet Nam. It is uncertain whether the shipment actually originated from Africa, but
the bags containing the scales had a Kenyan label stamped on them. In 2015, two more incidents
occurred, with one involving 324 kg of pangolin scales and 505 kg of elephant tusks, coming from
Nigeria via Singapore (where it was seized) and supposedly on its way to Vientiane, Lao PDR. e
second incident occurred on Koh Samui (ailand) where 587 kg of pangolin scales and 789 kg
of elephant ivory were seized from a ight coming from Singapore. e shipment originated in
Nigeria and was bound for Lao PDR. Of the total c.2028 kg recorded seized scales, 83.2% were
supposedly of African origin (Table 2).
irty-three incidents (76.7 %) exclusively involved Asian countries (i.e. did not involve African or
non-range countries), and accounted for an estimated c.3015 whole pangolins. ese consisted of
61 kg live pangolins + 1679 whole live pangolins (n = 21 incidents), c. 75 kg individuals + 534 whole
individuals (n = 11 incidents) and c.340 kg of pangolin scales (n = 4 incidents). e ve largest
of these incidents all involved a smuggling route from ailand via Lao PDR to either China or
Viet Nam. In one incident in 2012 a suspect was transporting 138 live pangolins hidden in plastic
baskets from ailands southern Chumphon Province to its northern province of Nong Khai (Table
2 – No. 17). From there the shipment was supposed to be transported to Lao PDR where it was
to be sold to Chinese customers. In 2013 nearly 200 live pangolins were discovered in ailand’s
province of Udon ani (Table 2 – No. 28). ese animals, were believed to be destined for China
or Viet Nam, via Lao PDR. In 2014 there were three incidents. e rst incident involved a seizure
of 169 pangolins in ailands Province of Nakhon Ratchasima, again destined for China or Viet
Nam, via Lao PDR (Table 2 – No. 32). e second incident involved a seizure of 150 kg of pangolin
scales, as well as 100 live pangolins in the Malaysian state of Perak (Table 2 – No. 37). e shipment
was en route from Sumatra, through Malaysia and into ailand. It was assumed that the animals
were then to be transported via Lao PDR to China. e third incident involved 113 live Sunda
Pangolins and 180 kg of Sunda Pangolin scales, which were being transported from Malaysia to
ailand, where they were seized in the southern ai province of Chumphon (Table 2 – No. 36).
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 9
Table 2: Recorded pangolin seizures involving Lao PDR during the period 2010–2015.
No Date Ye ar Seizure Origin Destination Items
Seized
Quantity Source1
17 Feb 2010 USA Lao PDR USA Tail/Claw/
Unknown
1/1/1 LEMIS
2 28 Jul 2010 Viet Nam Lao PDR Viet Nam Unknown 150kg2Media
3 18 Aug 2010 ailand Malaysia China via
Lao PDR
Live 105 TRAFFIC
4 15 Oct 2010 ailand - Lao PDR Whole3106 Media
5 17 Jan 2011 Viet Nam Lao PDR Viet Nam Whole 1NGO
6 18 Jan 2011 Viet Nam Lao PDR Viet Nam Whole 2 CITES
73 Feb 2011 USA Lao PDR USA 'Medicinals' 40 LEMIS
8 24 Mar 2011 Viet Nam Lao PDR Viet Nam Dead 15 CITES
9 8 Jun 2011 USA Lao PDR USA Dead 1 LEMIS
10 22 Nov 2011 ailand - China via
Lao PDR
Whole 50
11 2 Dec 2011 Viet Nam Lao PDR China Whole 50kg NGO
12 22 Dec 2011 ailand - Lao PDR Whole 18
13 26 Dec 2011 ailand - Lao PDR Live 74 TRAFFIC
14 23 Feb 2012 USA Lao PDR USA Scales 16 LEMIS
15 1 Mar 2012 Malaysia Malaysia Lao PDR Live 50 TRAFFIC
16 23 Apr 2012 Viet Nam Malaysia Viet Nam
via Lao PDR
Live 71 TRAFFIC
17 May 2012 ailand - Lao PDR Live 50 TRAFFIC
18 19 Jul 2012 ailand - China OR
Viet Nam
via Lao PDR
Live 12 Media
19 4 Sep 2012 Viet Nam Lao PDR Live 118 TRAFFIC
20 14 Nov 2012 ailand Lao PDR Live 52 TRAFFIC
21 25 Dec 2012 ailand Lao PDR Live 42 Media
22 26 Dec 2012 Viet Nam Lao PDR Viet Nam Live 100 TRAFFIC
23 16 Jan 2013 Viet Nam Africa4Viet Nam
via Lao PDR
Scales 263kg CITES
24 25 Mar 2013 ailand Malaysia/
ailand
China via
Lao PDR
Live 104 TRAFFIC
25 25 Apr 2013 Viet Nam Lao PDR Viet Nam Whole 1 CITES
26 18 May 2013 ailand - China via
Lao PDR
Whole 110 TRAFFIC
27 17 Jun 2013 China Lao PDR China Live 2 TRAFFIC
28 16 Sep 2013 ailand ailand China OR
Viet Nam
via Lao PDR
Live 200 TRAFFIC
29 26 Oct 2013 USA Lao PDR USA Skin 5 Pieces LEMIS
30 22 Nov 2013 ailand Malaysia China via
Lao PDR
Live 122 TRAFFIC
31 23 Jan 2014 Viet Nam Kenya Viet Nam
via Lao PDR
Scales 263kg NGO
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR10
32 28 Mar 2014 ailand - China via
Lao PDR
Whole 169 NGO
33 16 May 2014 ailand - China via
Lao PDR
Live 130 NGO
34 2 Jul 2014 France Nigeria Lao PDR Scales 250kg TRAFFIC
35 6 Jul 2014 ailand Malaysia China via
Lao PDR
Live 34 CITES
36 9 Sep 2014 ailand Malaysia China via
Lao PDR
Live/Scales 113/180kg CITES
37 13 Sep 2014 Malaysia Indonesia China via
ailand
and Lao
PDR
Live/Scales 100/150kg NGO
38 22 Oct 2014 ailand Malaysia China voa
Lao PDR
Live/Scales 75/10kg CITES
39 27 Oct 2014 Viet Nam Lao PDR Viet Nam Live 7NGO
40 8 Mar 2015 ailand Malaysia China via
Lao PDR
Live 61kg CITES
41 30 Oct 2015 Lao PDR Indonesia Lao PDR Live 81 TRAFFIC
42 10 Dec 2015 ailand Nigeria Lao PDR Scales 587kg TRAFFIC
43 12 Dec 2015 Singapore Nigeria Lao PDR Scales 342kg Media
1Sources include, but are not limited to: TRAFFIC: reported in TRAFFIC’s seizure database and/or the TRAFFIC Bulletins; CITES:
reported by dierent CITES Management Authorities; NGO: compiled through reports from dierent NGOs; LEMIS: reported
in the Law Enforcement Management Information System of the United States of America; Media: reported through open source
media.
2 Total weight of pangolins including other wildlife
3 Whole animal, uncertain whether dead or alive
4 Country not further specied in the report
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 11
Market survey
Scales were found to be the only pangolin commodity type openly available in the surveyed markets
and shops. Observed amounts ranged from 20 to 1200 scales per survey site (Table 3).
Table 3: e open availability of pangolin scales observed during the market surveys in April
and July 2016.
Date Survey
Locations
No Outlets
observed with
pangolins scales
Quantity of
scales
(estimated)
Notes
19, 20 & 27
April 2016
Vientiane
(capital)
4 520 Price quoted: Range USD2/piece to
USD1/gram (some pieces weighing
as much as 20 grams).
Use described by vendor: traditional
medicine to treat “itchiness”;
pendants
21 April 2016 Muang Sing 2 750 Supposedly from China
Price quoted: KIP80 000/bag
(~USD10/bag); Each bag estimates
to contain approximately between
60–80 scales
Use described by vendor: traditional
medicine to treat stomach aches
22 April 2016 Boten 2 190 Sold openly in a container (~150
scales); and packed in several small
bags (~10 scales/bag)
Price quoted: CNY15/piece
(~USD2/piece)
22 & 23 April
2016
Luang
Namtha
(province
capital)
2 52 Sold individually as pieces; and
packed in one bag ~ 50 scales
24 April 2016 Luang
Namtha
(province
capital)
2 1202 Two large pieces observed in one
shop to be made into pendants
One shop with 10 bags containing
approximately 150 scales each
20 July 2016 Golden
Triangle SEZ
(Bokeo
1 20 One small bag observed openly for
sale
21 July 2016 Houayxay none -
Tota l 13 2734
e observed scales were either packed into bags which varied in size (i.e. ranging from as little as
10 scales per bag to as much as 150 scales per bag), or were displayed openly as individual pieces or
in containers (Figure 4).
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR12
Pangolin scales observed at a shop in Luang Namtha
© O.C. Or/TRAFFIC
Pangolin scales obser ve d at Chinese Market inVientiane
© E.John/TRAFFIC
Pangolin scales observed at a jewellery shop in Luang
Prabang
© K. Krishnasamy/TRAFFIC
Pangolin scales obser ve d at the Muang Sing market
© L.Gomez/TRAFFIC
Figure 4: Open availability of pangolin scales in various locations in Lao PDR, showing varied
display or packaging methods, observed during the market surveys in April and July 2016.
Pangolin scales obser ved at the Muang Sing market
© E.John/TRAFFIC
Pangolin scales observed in Boten
© K.Krishnasamy/TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 13
ey were mostly being sold for use as traditional medicine, although two shops (one in Vientiane
and one in Luang Namtha) were found selling individual scales as jewellery (to be made into
pendants). e largest quantity of scales was observed in Luang Prabang with an estimated 1200
scales from two jewellery shops, while the lowest quantity (20 scales) was found in the Golden
Triangle SEZ. e highest recorded price for pangolin scales was USD1/gram, as stated by one
vendor at the Chinese Market in Vientiane who also claimed that larger scales can sometimes weigh
as much as 20 grams.
In Luang Prabang and Vientiane, pangolin scales were found in popular tourist spots alongside
other wildlife contraband such as elephant ivory, shredded rhino horn, Helmeted Hornbill
Rhinoplax vigil casques, bear claws and Tiger teeth. In Muang Sing, scales were observed at the
main market in the traditional medicine section. Wildlife products on sale here for purported
medicinal purposes included elephant skin, Tiger bone, serow horn and porcupine stomach. In
comparison, much smaller quantities of scales were recorded in Boten, Luang Namtha and in the
Golden Triangle SEZ, Bokeo Province.
It should be noted, however, that many of the shops in the Golden Triangle SEZ were either closed
or looked abandoned at the time of survey i.e. July 2016. According to one restaurant owner, this
was not a peak tourist time (i.e. from China), and tourists were generally expected towards the end
of the year. In Boten, pangolin was observed on the menu in one restaurant (although restaurants
were not targeted by this survey). Of the seven locations visited, Houayxay was the only place where
no pangolins were observed for open sale.
© E.John/TRAFFIC
Pangolin scales obser ve d at the Muang Sing market
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR14
DISCUSSION
Lao PDR as a transit country
e number of recorded seizures associated with Lao PDR between 2010 and 2015 conrms the
country’s role as an important hub in the international pangolin trade. Within this trade dynamic,
Lao PDR appears to function predominantly as a transit country. is is supported by the stark
contrast between the relatively low numbers of pangolin scales observed in open trade during the
market surveys and the large numbers of specimens (live/dead animals, body parts, products and
derivatives) reported in the seizure records. In most of the seizure data, Lao PDR was marked as a
transit country (44.2 %). As seizure records are notoriously inconsistent, especially when it comes
to the completeness of trade routes, it is possible that even in records where it was indicated as an
origin- or a destination country, Lao PDR was likely a transit location in the overall trade chain. In
these cases, only one exporter and one importer were identied in the whole incident, and while it
is possible that the complete transaction merely involved the two identied countries, the possibility
that the two countries were in fact part of a larger trade route should be considered. In the seizure
data, an “origin country” represents the rst known point in the trade route. Whether this country
was the actual country of origin of the seized specimens, or a country of transit or re-export,
remains uncertain. Similarly, a “destination country” represents the last known (intended) point
in the trade route, without there being any certainty as to whether this country really represents
the nal destination. erefore, pangolins “originating” from Lao PDR, may in reality have been
brought into the country from abroad, and shipments “destined” for Lao PDR may in reality have
been on their way to Lao PDR in order to be re-exported (most likely to end-use markets such as
Viet Nam or China).
Even Lao PDRs local pangolin trade appears to mainly cater to foreign customers in the areas
surveyed. In Vientiane and Luang Prabang, pangolin scales where predominantly found in the
tourist parts of town and prices were oen given in Chinese Yuan. In Vientiane’s Chinese market,
the shops that oered pangolin scales for sale were run by ethnic Chinese and employed Chinese-
speaking sta (Or, pers. obs.). Relatively large quantities of scales were also found in Muang Sing; a
tourist city close to the Chinese border.
Chinese and Vietnamese demand
Chinese demand appears to be an important stimulus for the international pangolin trade. Of
Lao PDR’s recorded pangolin seizures, no fewer than 47.1% were destined for China. In China,
pangolins are either consumed as a luxury meat with purported tonic benets or used for medicinal
purposes. According to Challender et al. (2016), pangolin scales have been imported into China
from neighbouring range countries including Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Myanmar since the early
1990s as Chinese pangolin populations declined. is is further corroborated by the Environmental
Investigation Agency’s (EIA) recent study of the illegal wildlife trade in the Golden Triangle SEZ,
which, according to EIA, exists largely to cater for the growing number of Chinese tourists (Anon.,
2015a). Nijman et al. (2016) had similar ndings in Myanmar in which the “Chinese market” was
identied as the main driver of the pangolin trade there.
Restaurants in Lao PDR are known to serve wildlife dishes including Tiger Panthera tigris, elephant,
Sambar Rusa unicolor, muntjac, Eurasian Wild Pig Sus scrofa and pangolin (Nooren and Claridge,
2001). During this study, no restaurants were surveyed for pangolin meat. However, it was casually
observed to be available in at least one restaurant in Boten. EIA (2015) also reported on pangolin
meat being available in restaurants within the Golden Triangle SEZ. Again, places like Boten and
the Golden Triangle SEZ cater to Chinese tourists whom consider pangolin a luxury meat.
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 15
Demand from Viet Nam appears to be another main driver in the international pangolin trade,
with 38.2 % of recorded seizures in Lao PDR indicating Viet Nam as the next destination. While it
remains unclear how many of these shipments would have been subsequently re-exported to China,
Viet Nam has been known to be a large consumer of pangolin products both for meat as well as
medicine (Nguyen and Nguyen, 2009; Challender et al., 2015) and is likely to function as a second
important end destination. Viet Nam is a persistent consumer market in Asia for wildlife species
and a key factor in the decline of species in Viet Nam and surrounding regions (Shairp et al., 2016).
Aer two decades of rapid economic growth, newly wealthy consumers are purchasing wildlife to
advertise their status—including luxury wild meats, the price of which is oen associated with the
rarity of a species and its wild origins (Drury, 2011; Shairp et al., 2016). Pangolins are oen the
most expensive meat on the menu in Vietnamese restaurants (Gannon, 2014; Shairp et al., 2016).
Key routes and commodities traded
In most cases, incomplete information made it impossible to determine exact trade routes.
However, certain trends were clearly detectable. A large number of the shipments that went through
Lao PDR were smuggled in from ailand. Of the 43 seizure records, there were 22 incidents
that involved ailand. e province of Nong Khai, in north-eastern ailand was particularly
implicated—not surprising given it is separated from Lao PDR only by the Mekong River, including
a road bridge leading to Vientiane, making it a key smuggling route in the region for contraband
including illegal wildlife (Chouvy, 2013). Like Lao PDR, ailand appears to be an important
transit country in the international pangolin trade. On several occasions, pangolin shipments were
brought into ailand from Indonesia and/or Malaysia with the intention to smuggle them into Lao
PDR and subsequently into Viet Nam and/or China (Figure 5).
Another concerning trend is the increasing incidence of trade into Asia of African pangolin species.
As Asian pangolin populations continue to decline, and economic ties between Africa and Asia
integrate further, pangolin products are increasingly being shipped in from Africa (Challender and
Hywood, 2012); a trend that has been on the rise since around 2009 (Challender, 2011). However,
this phenomenon appears to have escalated in the past couple of years, with more frequent seizures
of pangolin shipments originating from Africa and oen involving large quantities. Between 2000
and 2012, the weight of scales seized in a single incident ranged from 1 kg to 200 kg (Challender
and Hywood, 2012). ese numbers now commonly range from 250 kg to 2000 kg (Gomez et al.,
2016). As recently as 2016, two seizures involving shipments from Cameroon and Nigeria took
place in Hong Kong, amounting to 4000 kg and 7300 kg of scales respectively; the largest recorded
seizures of scales from Africa so far (Anon., 2016a; Anon., 2016b).
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR16
A recent study has found the pangolin trade between Nigeria and China to be blooming, with
several large seizures of pangolin scales and meat taking place between 2011 and 2015 (Gomez et
al., 2016). is study also found that whenever shipments were not directly shipped from Nigeria
to China, they were (to be) smuggled in through Lao PDR. ese shipments were reportedly sent to
Lao PDR either via Singapore, ailand or France (Figure 6).
Shipments originating from Africa seized in Lao PDR only contained scales, and in previous
research only scales and meat (Gomez et al., 2016). In fact, 83.2 % of all reports of seized pangolin
scales analysed in this study were of African origin. Trade in Asian pangolins on the other hand,
consisted predominantly of live animals and “individuals” (whole animals for which it was unclear
whether they were alive or dead). ere may be several reasons for this. From a practical point of
view, scales are more easily concealed than live animals and require less attention during extended
travel, making them more suitable for the intercontinental trade. Additionally, scales may be a
by-product of pangolin meat consumption in Africa (Pietersen et al., 2014), and thus scales may
subsequently be transported to Asia and sold for higher prots than they would in Africa.
Figure 5: Pangolin trade routes in Asia, with each line representing an observed trade route,
disregarding the frequency with which it was observed. Colours vary according to the reported
country of origin (Orange = Indonesia; Green = Malaysia; Blue = ailand; Yellow = Lao PDR).
Source: TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 17
Law enforcement
Lao PDR’s porous borders and high levels of alleged corruption, have raised the country’s prole
as a major conduit for the tracking of high value and highly threatened wildlife (Anon., 2015a;
Anon., 2015b). Of the 43 reported pangolin seizures, only one took place in Lao PDR. is is a
stark contrast to the large number of seizures that were conducted in both ailand and Viet Nam
during the same period (involving shipments going to—or coming from—Lao PDR). e lack of
in-country seizure records from Lao PDR may be explained by a lack of reporting (of incidents to
(inter-)national authorities) and by lack of enforcement eectiveness. e latter is conrmed by
the fact that during the market surveys, pangolins scales were openly traded (alongside other illicit
wildlife products, including rhino horn shavings, Helmeted Hornbill casques, Tiger teeth, bear
teeth, bile and claws and large amounts of elephant ivory), without apparent fear of repercussion.
Similar ndings were made by the CITES Secretariat during a recent mission to Lao PDR which
was aimed at assessing the country’s implementation of the provisions of the Convention to regulate
and control the trade and use of CITES-listed species (Anon, 2016c). Conclusions drawn from this
visit included Lao PDR being targeted by organized crime groups to smuggle wildlife through its
borders into other countries in Asia due to a combined lack of enforcement capacity and signicant
weaknesses and loopholes in national laws where wildlife trade is concerned (Anon, 2016c).
Figure 6: Pangolin trade routes between Africa and Asia, with each line representing a single
record. One record was omitted from this map due to a lack of specicity regarding the country
of origin (“Africa”).
Source: TRAFFIC
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR18
CONCLUSION
Lao PDR is situated in Southeast Asia, where it shares its porous borders with Cambodia, China,
Myanmar, ailand and Viet Nam; all of which are countries persistently implicated in the illegal
wildlife trade. However, while wildlife trade legislation, monitoring and law enforcement eorts
have improved in neighbouring countries, it seems that Lao PDR is being exploited as a low-risk
transport hub for illegal wildlife goods, including pangolins. Lao PDRs weak laws and ineective
enforcement allow pangolins from both Asian and African countries to be shipped through the
country and into consumer countries such as China and Viet Nam. Furthermore, it would appear
that China has signicant inuence over trade activities within Lao PDR that is encouraging
Chinese tourist/investors including the establishment of hotspots that perpetuate the illicit trade in
wildlife as is evident in Boten and the Golden Triangle SEZ.
Although protective national laws are in place for Lao PDR’s native pangolin species, and the CITES
zero quota for international trade should oer protection for all Asian species, it does not seem that
these measures are being properly enforced. While all four African species are listed in Appendix
II of CITES, there are no established export quotas in place to regulate their international trade
further, and poaching and tracking continues to deplete wild populations. Globally, the illegal
trade in African pangolins appears to be rapidly increasing. Whereas the frequency of pangolin
seizures in Lao PDR has not increased over the past ve years, the quantities that were seized in
each incident have.
Improved law enforcement eorts in Lao PDR remains crucial to the eectiveness of CITES
regulations, and therefore to the conservation of pangolins globally. Such improvement should
include shutting down establishments like markets, shops and restaurants that sell illegal wildlife
products; strengthening monitoring of illegal wildlife trade across Lao PDRs borders; strengthening
its national wildlife laws by incorporating stricter penalties.
TRAFFIC’s research and analysis specic to pangolin trade aims to make practical contributions
to eorts by relevant government agencies of Lao PDR, as well as those by the CITES Secretariat
and CITES Parties in supporting Lao PDR, to improve implementation and enforcement of the
Convention. is includes follow-up to recommendations detailed in the Secretariat’s report to the
67th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee regarding Application of Article XIII in the Lao
People’s Democratic Republic (SC67 Doc. 12.1 – see Anon, 2016c).
RECOMMENDATIONS
CITES and national legislation
Proposals to list all eight pangolin species in Appendix I of CITES should be supported
at CoP17 (i.e. Proposals 8 and 12) as this places an overall higher degree of international
protection, and will enhance eorts to safeguard pangolins and support regulatory control
mechanisms by non-range States.
National legislation requires urgent improvement to enable eective law enforcement, which
is currently ineectual due to weaknesses in the law that prevent arrests, prosecutions and
convictions. Currently considered a Category 3 country by the CITES National Legislation
Project, meaning that its "legislation (…) is believed generally not to meet the requirements for the
implementation of CITES", Lao PDR needs to amend its national wildlife laws to incorporate
CITES implementing legislation, including legislation protecting all species of pangolins not
native to the country and providing for stricter deterrents / penalties for serious wildlife-
related oences, especially when perpetrated through organized groups, transnationally and
repetitively.
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR 19
Law Enforcement
Law enforcement capacity should be enhanced to improve proactive investigation into
international wildlife crime in general and the pangolin trade in particular. Multi-agency
collaboration, both at national and international levels, should be enhanced to tackle the
international and organized criminal networks involved in smuggling pangolins across Lao
PDRs borders. is should include members of Lao PDR Wildlife Enforcement Network
(WEN), notably the environmental police, Customs, the Department of Forest Inspections
(DOFI), prosecutors and judges, to investigate mid-high prole cases that involve organized and
transboundary activities.
Increased surveillance of trade in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and in the other trade
“hotspots” identied in this report is also needed.
Increased prosecution rates including more severe penalties should be realized in order to deter
potential wildlife criminals.
Lao PDR should aim to improve its reporting to the CITES Secretariat as per the new annual
illegal trade reporting requirements i.e. CITES Notication 007 that was issued in February
2016. Seizure reports, including comprehensive accounts of actions and outcomes, specics
of seizure and prosecution details are imperative to the analysis of the country’s wildlife trade
levels and trends, and, eventually, a better understanding of the international illegal wildlife
trade.
Better co-operation and co-ordination between the Customs agencies of Lao PDR and ailand
is required in order to increase detection rates along the Lao-ai border (which has proven to
be a crucial transit point in the international pangolin trade).
Better co-operation and co-ordination is also needed between Lao PDR and China and Viet
Nam, which should include extra vigilance concerning exports from Lao PDR to these two
countries.
In the case of Chinese citizens caught smuggling wildlife products from Lao PDR into China, or
involved in illegal purchase, sale or transport of protected species in Lao PDR, moving seizures
and apprehension of suspects to prosecution (in both Lao PDR and China) would help increase
deterrents to illegal wildlife trade.
Future Research
Continued research into Lao PDR’s role in the international illegal wildlife trade in general,
and the pangolin trade in particular, is needed in order to obtain a current and improved
understanding of the trade levels and dynamics in this crucial transit hub. Such research should
include seizure analyses and market monitoring, especially in SEZs.
Beyond Lao PDR, additional research into the global pangolin trade will help guide law
enforcement eorts, with the goal of improving the eectiveness of interventions. Such research
should include: 1) continued research into the Asian pangolin trade, including seizure and trade
route analyses, and drivers of demand; 2) increased research into the trade of African pangolin
species to Asia, including seizure and trade route analyses, and drivers of demand.
TRAFFIC Report: Observations of the illegal pangolin trade in Lao PDR20
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