Last year, the Nepal government prepared a comprehensive Pangolin Conservation Action Plan. But more worrying is that Nepal is becoming a conduit for smuggled pangolins from India and Africa to China where the scales are worth $3,000 per kg. A live adult anteater can sell for anything up to $8,000 in China.
In the last five years, Nepal Police have arrested 34 smugglers and confiscated 125kg of scales, four live anteaters, and one carcass and four sets of pangolin skin. In 2016, Suwal identified one of the seized pangolins to be from an African species.
The pangolin trade is flourishing despite the global ban, and smuggling is so rife that of the eight species found in Africa and Asia, four are listed as vulnerable, two as critically endangered and two as endangered.