Endangered pangolins found on Chinese poacher boat

Apr 15, 2013
A Chinese fishing boat sits on the Tubbataha reef, in Palawan island, western Philippines, April 10, 2013. The Philippine coast guard said Monday it had found hundreds of frozen scaly anteaters, or pangolins, in the cargo hold of a Chinese boat that ran aground in a protected marine sanctuary last week.

The Philippine coast guard said Monday it had found hundreds of frozen scaly anteaters, or pangolins, in the cargo hold of a Chinese boat that ran aground in a protected marine sanctuary last week.

have been informed of the surprising discovery, which could lead to more charges for the 12 Chinese men arrested on charges including poaching after their was stranded in Tubbataha Reef last week.

"We found 400 boxes containing anteaters aboard the vessel, and we are now determining where these came from," spokesman Lieutenant Commander Armand Balilo told AFP.

He could not say whether the were frozen alive, or had already been butchered as meat.

A protected species, pangolins are widely hunted in parts of Asia for their meat, skin and scales. In China, they are known as a delicacy and are purported to have medicinal qualities.

Protesters rally in front of the Chinese consular office in Manila on April 11, 2013, against a Chinese fishing vessel that ran aground the World Heritage-listed Tubbataha coral reef in Palawan.

According to the International Union of , all eight species of the insect-eating mammals are protected by international laws around the world.

Two—the Malaysian and Chinese pangolins—are in its "red list" of endangered species.

Pangolins are also found roaming in the wild in the western Philippine island of Palawan, the nearest land area to Tubbataha Reef where the Chinese boat had been marooned.

Balilo said the vessel remained stuck in Tubbataha, while the coast guard awaited arrival of a salvage ship to tow it away.

Prosecutors charged the 12 Chinese fishermen last week with illegal poaching and with corruption for attempting to bribe Filipinos officials, and if convicted they could face long jail terms.

It was not immediately clear however what additional charges, if any, are to be filed against them with the discovery of the pangolins, Balilo said.

Philippine coast guard personnel inspect the Chinese fishing vessel that ran aground off Tubbataha reef in Palawan island, western Philippines, April 10, 2013. Prosecutors charged the 12 Chinese fishermen last week with illegal poaching and with corruption for attempting to bribe Filipinos officials, and if convicted they could face long jail terms.

The grounding of the 48-metre (157-foot) boat came amid deep tensions between the Philippines and China over competing territorial claims to the neighbouring South China Sea.

China claims virtually all of the South China Sea on historical grounds, including waters close to the shores of its neighbours.

The Philippines, as well as Vietnam, have accused of bullying other claimants as it aggressively stakes out its claims.

Explore further: Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Philippines seizes butchered pangolins

Jan 06, 2012

Philippine wildlife authorities seized a huge shipment of meat and scales from up to a hundred slaughtered pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, officials said on Friday.

'Chinese hackers' deface Philippines news website

Apr 14, 2013

Suspected Chinese hackers defaced the website of the Philippines News Agency (PNA) on Sunday, officials said, a possible repeat of cyber attacks last year also blamed on China during a territorial row.

6 Chinese charged for turtle catch in Philippines

Dec 04, 2011

(AP) -- Six Chinese fishermen accused of poaching endangered sea turtles were charged in a Philippine court Monday, part of efforts to protect threatened wildlife along the country's coastline.

Malaysian authorities rescue 130 pangolins

Dec 20, 2009

Malaysian wildlife authorities said they have rescued 130 pangolins and arrested two men attempting to smuggle the protected species, destined to be sold to restaurants and medicine shops.

Recommended for you

Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks

14 hours ago

Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools, according to results published April 23, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Gabriel Vianna from The University of Wes ...

Researchers detail newly discovered deer migration

21 hours ago

A team of researchers including University of Wyoming scientists has documented the longest migration of mule deer ever recorded, the latest development in an initiative to understand and conserve ungulate ...

How Australia got the hump with one million feral camels

21 hours ago

A new study by a University of Exeter researcher has shed light on how an estimated one million-strong population of wild camels thriving in Australia's remote outback have become reviled as pests and culled ...

Former Iron Curtain still barrier for deer

Apr 23, 2014

The Iron Curtain was traced by an electrified barbed-wire fence that isolated the communist world from the West. It was an impenetrable Cold War barrier—and for some inhabitants of the Czech Republic it ...

Humpback protections downgrade clears way for pipeline

Apr 22, 2014

Environmentalist activists on Tuesday decried Canada's downgrading of humpback whale protections, suggesting the decision was fast-tracked to clear a major hurdle to constructing a pipeline to the Pacific ...

Maine baby lobster decline could end high catches

Apr 22, 2014

Scientists say the number of baby lobsters settling off the rocky coast of Maine continues to steadily decline—possibly foreshadowing an end to the recent record catches that have boosted New England's lobster fishery.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Phase transiting to a new quantum universe

(Phys.org) —Recent insight and discovery of a new class of quantum transition opens the way for a whole new subfield of materials physics and quantum technologies.

Imaging turns a corner

(Phys.org) —Scientists have developed a new microscope which enables a dramatically improved view of biological cells.

Sensors may keep hospitalized patients from falling

(Medical Xpress)—To keep hospitalized patients safer, University of Arizona researchers are working on new technology that involves a small, wearable sensor that measures a patient's activity, heart rate, ...