Covid-19 – a blessing for pangolins?
Pangolins are one of the most heavily trafficked animals in the world, and as a result they are endangered. But in the past few weeks they have been linked to the initial outbreak of the Covid-19 disease in China. The evidence is inconclusive, but it has already prompted the Chinese government to take action. If more actions against the wildlife trade follow, the incident could prove to be a turning point for pangolin conservation.
A key question is where Covid-19 came from. Many animals carry coronaviruses and are potential sources of infection. That is important to know, if only because it should help us prevent future outbreaks. Several ideas have been proposed, but arguably the most dramatic is that pangolins were the source.