A Lucky Day: World Pangolin Day!
去年9月份在夏威夷举办的最近一次世界自然保护联盟 (IUCN） 生物多样性问题会议上，我被一位好友Azzedine Downes, 也就是目前国际爱护动物基金会 (IFAW）的总裁兼首席执行官 问及是否可以在他们组织筹备的一个关于穿山甲的集会上做一个简短的演讲。Azzedine 知道我不能拒绝他的要求，而事实也正如此，我答应了他。那晚的集会是想劝说全球各国将世界范围内的所有穿山甲列入最高保护级别（极危），彻底打击针对穿山甲的非法国际贸易。
At the recent International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) meeting on biodiversity in Hawaii last September I was asked by one of my good friends, Azzedine Downes, who happens to be President of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) if I would give a short talk at a gathering they were organizing – about pangolins! Azzedine knows I cannot refuse him and so of course, I had to say “yes!” The purpose of the evening was to help persuade countries around the world that all pangolins should receive the highest level of protections from international trade.
我记得我最早听说穿山甲这种动物是在1957年，正是在路易斯•利基博士（英国古人类学家，Jane的导师）邀请我加入他研究团队的那一年，他向我介绍了这种奇特的动物。当时我们的研究工作在奥杜瓦伊峡谷地区（位于坦桑尼亚），就是若干年后发现了首具原始人类遗骸（来自150万年前的东非原始人）的地方。 利基博士的描述中，穿山甲长得很像食蚁兽或犰狳, 但通体生有鳞片。当面对威胁时会像刺猬一样把自己蜷缩成一团（用它坚硬的鳞片来抵御攻击）；有时他也会用尾巴作为攻击的武器——那上面的鳞片很容易割伤捕食者的皮肤，而作为他的终极威慑手段，这种有趣的动物会从他们肛门附近的腺体中排射出一种异常难闻的酸性分泌液, 类似臭鼬那样（臭鼬并不伴随分泌液体物质）。
I remembered the first time I heard about them from Louis Leakey in 1957. It was that magical year when he invited me to join his tiny team at Olduvai Gorge – a couple of years before the first hominid remains (Zinjanthropus) were found there. He described these strange creatures that look a bit like anteaters or armadillos, but are covered in scales. When threatened, a pangolin rolls up in a ball like a hedgehog. Sometimes it lashes out with its tail – the scales on which can easily cut a predator’s skin. As a final deterrent these curious creatures can emit a noxious-smelling acid from glands near the anus, similar to that of a skunk (although they do not spray the liquid).
Leakey also told me that he once saw a pride of lions surrounding a ‘pangolin ball,’ patting it with their paws, pouncing on it and biting at it. After some time they gave up and walked away – the unharmed pangolin then unrolled itself and hastened off in the opposite direction. There are a number of similar stories on YouTube today.
穿山甲真的是种奇特的生物，这个起源于距今约8000万年前的物种，至今保持着他们独有的目、科和属。 他们被分为8个不同品种，其中中华穿山甲、马来穿山甲、菲律宾穿山甲和印度穿山甲这4种生活在亚洲地区，其余4种则生活在非洲地区。那只我曾经在塞伦盖蒂（非洲东部）见到的穿山甲应该是“大穿山甲”，这种穿山甲的生活范围还包括卢旺达、布隆迪的森林地区（位于非洲中部）以及坦桑尼亚西部 (包括马哈尔国家公园）。而我几乎肯定在冈比（坦桑尼亚坦噶尼喀湖畔）也有。安东尼•柯林斯博士曾两次在夜晚的海滩上偶遇到过同一只穿山甲——那应该不是大穿山甲就是南非穿山甲。他还拍下了这张美丽的照片。
Pangolins really are strange creatures. They have their very own Order, Family, and Genus that originated some 80 million years ago. There are eight species, four found in Asia (Chinese, Sunda, Philippine, and Indian) and the other four in Africa. The one I might have met on the Serengeti is the giant ground pangolin, also found in forested areas including Rwanda and Burundi, and Western Tanzania (Mahale National Park and almost certainly also in Gombe). Dr. Anthony Collins has twice encountered a pangolin – either a giant ground or a ground pangolin on the beach at night. He took this wonderful photograph.
At Gombe, I think we also have the tree pangolin. Back in 1970’s, I was up in the forest when I heard a group of chimpanzees giving the alarm call “wraaaah” – a savage, spine chilling sound. I hurried as fast as I could to see what was going on, and found a group of three adult males and a few females some way up a low tree. They all had fully erect hair and were staring down and screaming at something in a hole in the tree. By climbing up a nearby tree I was able to see a pangolin who had obviously taken refuge there. Only the scaly back was visible. One chimp got a stick and poked at the poor animal – but the scales provided excellent protection and eventually the chimpanzees lost interest and wandered off. I waited a while, but it was getting late and I left without seeing the pangolin again.
黑猩猩有点害怕这种奇怪的生物并不让我感到意外，由于绝大部分穿山甲是夜行动物且是独立行动的 (有人告诉我，只有非洲中西部地区的长尾穿山甲会在白天活动），我想，对于黑猩猩来说那确实是不常见到的。穿山甲没有固定的伴侣关系，雄性穿山甲会用尿液来标记自己的领地范围来吸引雌性, 而当雌性穿山甲怀孕后，她就会独自离开直至生下幼崽。头三个月里，穿山甲宝宝会趴在妈妈的尾巴上，随着妈妈一起行动。（我多想看看这一幕啊！）而后几个月这样的母子同行的时间里, 幼崽大概会跟着妈妈学习到自己必需的生存知识，比如怎么找到白蚁的蚁丘（因为糟糕的视力，他们主要是靠嗅觉）。最终，当学到的本领已经让逐渐长大的小穿山甲有信心独立生活下去他们就会离开母亲踏上自立的生命之旅。
It is not surprising the chimps were a bit scared of such a strange creature for I don’t suppose they see one very often since pangolins are nocturnal and solitary for the most part. (Only the long-tailed pangolin of Central and West Africa, I am told, is regularly active during the daytime). There are no pair bonds between male and female: the larger male marks his territory with urine to attract females but then, after becoming pregnant, she wanders off on her own until giving birth to her one pup. For three months this infant will ride around on her tail – how I long to see this – and then will stay with her for a few more months, during which I suppose it learns the pangolin way of life, how to locate termite mounds (mostly by smell as they have bad eyesight). Eventually the youngster feels confident enough to leave mum and start its independent life.
(供图/ 美联社 Firdia Lisnawati）
With a pilot camera trap program in Gombe we can see some of these behaviors. See how they scratch open a termite or ant nest and thrust their long (longer than their bodies!) and sticky tongues down the passages to collect the insects. They have no teeth for chewing, but the insects are ground up by keratinous spines inside their stomachs. They really are strange creatures! Elizabeth Lonsdorf, one of our researchers working in Gombe has captured some great footage of a pangolin feeding.
The pangolin is the most illegally traded mammal in the world, hunted for meat and for the supposed medicinal value of their scales. IFAW put out information that an estimated one million pangolins were poached from the wild in the past decade to satisfy the demand from consumer countries including China, Vietnam – and the United States. As pangolin populations dropped in consumer countries, dealers began to seek pangolins in other places including Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent and now Africa.
Although the scales are simply keratin, and have no medicinal value, in traditional Chinese medicine they are dried, roasted and sold. Some believe they can cure just about everything from cancer to acne, though there is no evidence to back this idea. In Africa too, pangolin scales are valued in some places: when a researcher at Gombe found a dead pangolin, the park ranger who was with him asked if he could have one of the scales. He believed that if you burned the edge of the scale with a match the smoke would keep lions away. (Even though there have been no lions at Gombe for over 50 years!)
Because of all this false belief in their value, pangolin scales can sell on the black market for over $3,000USD a kilogram. Pangolins and/or their scales are smuggled back to consumer countries via large shipping containers, often containing several tons of pangolin scales and frozen meat. People are surprised to hear that the United States is a consumer country – but U.S. government data shows that over the last decade, over 26,000 products made with pangolin derivatives were seized by the federal government on their way into the U.S.
据估计每年在亚非地区有10万只左右的穿山甲被抓捕，其中大部分都被运往了中国和越南。这项非法贸易目前已经使穿山甲成为地球上贸易数量最大的动物。甚至有信息表示穿山甲的非法买卖已经占到了目前整个野生动物贸易黑市成交量的20%。去年9月份，我在IUCN 会议上做了演讲，当时我就坐在Azzedine旁边, 在场的还有国际爱护动物基金会北美地区的总监Jeffrey Flocken 以及 Lisa Hywood, Thai Van Nguyen, Darren Pieterson和Dan Challender这几位研究穿山甲的专家。
It is estimated that 100,000 pangolins are captured every year from across Africa and Asia, with most shipped to China and Vietnam. This illegal trade has now rendered pangolins the most trafficked animal on earth, with some estimates claiming that sales now account for up to 20 percent of the entire wildlife black market. In September, I gave my talk at the IUCN meeting, alongside Azzedine, and also IFAW North America Director , Jeffrey Flocken and pangolin experts Lisa Hywood, Thai Van Nguyen, Darren Pieterson, and Dan Challender.
After that meeting the countries of the world gathered in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the CITES Conference, and voted to transfer all eight species of pangolin from Appendix II to Appendix I! This means that pangolins will receive the strictest global protections from trade possible. Thus, whilst it is horrifying to think that all species are so endangered, we must hope that the new level of protection will save these wonderful animals from extinction before it is too late.
最后，还是让我们重拾希望。越南野生动物救援组织（SVW）和Cuc Phuong国家公园的一个名为“肉食动物及穿山甲保护项目 ”的合作项目在去年8月份成功将20只马来穿山甲放归到越南境内一个安全地带（出于保护目的，项目组织方对该地区相关信息保密）。 这些已经被列入高度濒危等级的穿山甲是被从野生动物交易中解救出来并最终放归到宁平省内的Cuc Phuong国家公园（CPCP）区域内的。
And, to end on a note of hope, the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP), a collaboration between Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) and Cuc Phuong National Park, released 20 Sunda Pangolins last August to a safe and undisclosed location in Vietnam. The critically endangered pangolins were rescued from the wildlife trade and rehabilitated at SVW/CPCP in Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh Province.
这批被放归的穿山甲是去年6月在一次越南北部宁平地区展开的突击检查中被越南森林保护部工作人员截获下来的22只穿山甲中的一部分。由于将穿山甲关起来人工饲养，他们几乎是很难存活的。但是在这些没收来的21只穿山甲里面, 有20只最终活了下来并且被放归自然。CPCP的负责人Phuong Quan Tran表示，这批马来穿山甲最后被成功放归及获得健康状况上的良好恢复主要归功于宁平地区森林保护部门的协作支持，使得穿山甲被及时放归，避免了穿山甲经常在受到被抓捕禁闭的压力后产生的高死亡率。
The released pangolins were part of a seizure of 22 live pangolins confiscated by the Forest Protection Department (FPD) officers in Ninh Binh Province in June 2016. Pangolins normally do not survive well in captivity, and yet of the 21 pangolins confiscated, 20 survived and were released. Phuong Quan Tran, Manager of the CPCP, said, “This successful release and high survival rate of the rehabilitated pangolins is in large part thanks to the cooperation of Ninh Binh FPD which enabled us to release the animals quickly and avoid the high mortality that pangolins normally experience due to captive stress.”
有时人们会忘记当你开始了解他们时，每一只动物都有自己的性格特点。 两位美国珍•古道尔研究会的支持者Becci and Mark, 最近踏上了他们前往莫桑比克的旅程。 Becci写到 他们此行的一大亮点有机会陪伴一只叫作Pea 的穿山甲宝宝。Pea是之前被从非法盗猎者手中截获回来的。穿山甲是夜行动物，所以每晚Pea都会被带到灌木丛里去学习如何寻找蚂蚁和白蚁, Crowe夫妇也就必须每晚都陪在他身旁。Becci 真的彻底爱上了这种奇怪的动物，她对我说，Pea真的是无比温和却又那么脆弱的一个小生命。而最近我们也得到了关于Pea的好消息，他已经学会了那些必要的生存技能，并且被成功放归到野外了。如同我相信Pea将生存下去，我相信只要我们携起手来为保护他们而做出更大的努力，穿山甲将会在我们的星球上把他们的这份美丽与神奇延续下去。
Sometimes people forget that each animal, once you get to know it, has its own personality. Becci and Mark Crowe, two of our supporters (of the Jane Goodall Institute in USA) recently went on a trip to Mozambique. Becci wrote that one of the highlights for them was having the opportunity to spend time with a juvenile pangolin named Pea who had been confiscated from poachers. Pangolins are nocturnal, and every night Pea was taken out into the bush so that he could learn how to search for ants and termites, and the Crowe’s got to join him on these walks. Becci fell in love with the strange animal and told me that he was the most gentle and vulnerable little soul. Recently we got the wonderful news that Pea, having learned the skills necessary for survival, had been released into the wild. I am hopeful that he will survive and am hopeful that this beautiful and fascinating species will live on, as we all work together to protect it.
据BBC的报道，社交媒体对宴席上食用已列入高濒危等级的穿山甲的事件的高度曝光，已经促使中国政府发起调查，而被抓到的涉案人员将有可能面临长达10年监禁的判决。一位动物保护专家从中看到了一丝希望。 “我希望这次社交媒体与相关政府部门对残害野生动物丑闻的积极干预将成为开展针对濒危动物的研究和救助工作上的一个转折点” ，湖南省长沙市野生动植物保护协会会长周灿英表示。随着对穿山甲所面临的威胁的披露增加，中国民众以及国际上的人们都在呼吁强化对盗猎及贩卖野生穿山甲的集团以及穿山甲供应链上的相关人员的打击围剿力度。如果运气好，这或许将成为保护穿山甲逃脱猎杀厄运的有力干预措施之一。
Social media posts about endangered pangolin being eaten at banquets have caused Chinese authorities to launch an investigation with those caught eating potentially jailed for up to 10 years. (BBC) One wildlife protection specialist saw a ray of hope. “I hope the scandal will become a turning point in our search and rescue of the critically endangered animal,” said Zhou Canying, head of the Wildlife Protection Association in Changsha, Hunan province. With this increased exposure of the continued threats to pangolin, the Chinese people and people internationally are calling for more intense round up of trafficking ring leaders and others in the demand and supply chain for the pangolin. With some luck, this may be part of the many interventions to help protect this most trafficked animal.