The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and partners filed suit against the Trump administration Wednesday to force them to propose Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for pangolins. Currently, the US offers ESA protection for one of seven pangolin species that exist, which allows for the trafficking and purchasing of pangolin goods in the US.
Pangolins are poached for the supposed medicinal value as well as for their leather, which causes them to be the most heavily trafficked animal in the world, according to the suit. They explain that medicinal byproducts are often sold in American stores and that there is a large market for pangolin leather goods on eBay.
They are bringing suit claiming that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has violated their procedures since it has been four years since plaintiffs filed for protection status and they are yet to receive the 12-month report detailing if listing under ESA is warranted.
The suit hopes to bring pangolins to the attention of the US Fish and Wildlife Service so that ESA protection may be extended to all seven species.