CHANGSHA, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- China is considering upgrading the protection of pangolin to the highest level due to its grim living conditions in the wild.
The pangolin population showed a marked decline in China because of habitat destruction and rampant poaching in the past, and it is hard to come across wild pangolins, said Wu Zhimin, head of the wildlife conservation department of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration at a meeting in Changsha in central China.
"Even so, pangolins have been spotted in southern and eastern China, and we conclude that there are still pangolin groups living in the wild," said Wu Shibao, a professor with South China Normal University.
The country has two levels for the protection of endangered wild animals according to the wild animal conservation law. Pangolins are currently under the class-two state protection.
China issued a ban on pangolin hunting in 2007, and has suspended all commercial import of pangolin and its products since October 2018.
Wu Zhimin said the central government has introduced multiple measures to crack down on wildlife crimes, stepped up efforts to restore habitats and rescue pangolins in recent years.