Notice for missing: Searching for the Pangolin hero Yang Peijun from Lijiang county’ s human resources and armed forces apartment

Introduction: CBCGDF looks for the hero who had advocated for pangolins 33 years ago.

Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, Secretary-General of the China Biodiversity Conservation and green development foundation and head of the pangolin working group, recently saw an article published in Yunnan Forestry in 1987, “it is urgent to stop the hunting of pangolins as soon as possible”. The author was Yang Peijun, who was at the Ministry of human resources and armed forces of Lijiang County at that time. This document told us that he was one of the starting people in China to openly call for pangolin protection. Dr. Zhou Jinfeng expressed his respect and said:

“I really want to find this comrade. In 1987, a demobilized comrade transferred to work in Lishui, his hometown, wrote a letter to the publication. He described a terrible thing that pangolins were sold every day on the street and nowadays very few pangolins can be found. At that time, although, pangolins were already categorized as class II national protected animals (it was not called “secondary protected animal”), they were still being widely and illegally hunted and sold. There were at least dozens of pangolins, sometimes even over hundreds, were sold per day, which had continued for years. In June 2020, pangolins have been officially denounced as the national level protected animals. This policy is thirty-three years late. Historically speaking, actual protection is more important than denouncing policy.

(Photo credit: Yunnan Forestry)

The following is writing of Comrade Yang Peijun for the journal:

We Should Stop Hunting Pangolins As Soon As Possible

In the streets of Liuku, Fugong, Gongshan, and Bijiang counties in Nujiang Prefecture, the local farmers sell pangolins every day. I have worked in Gongshan County for more than ten years, and, in the streets, I can see this kind of situation almost every day. Recently, after I was transferred back to work in my hometown, many comrades and villagers wrote to me that the phenomena of catching and killing pangolins by local farmers are more severe than before. Every day, there are more than a dozen pangolins, sometimes even more than hundreds of them, are sold on the market. Most of these pangolins are bought by businessmen from other provinces and then sell them to the restaurants in the mainland for high profits. I think it’s good to have a lateral economic tie, but it’s illegal to trade with national rare animals. Pangolins belong to the category of a second-level national protected animal, so it should not be indiscriminately hunted. Therefore, I submit this letter to the editorial department, hoping that the relevant departments will pay more attention to it and take prompt measures, stopping the capture and slaughter of pangolins.

Yang Peijun, Ministry of human resources and armed forces of Lijiang County

Yunnan is a traditional distribution area of pangolins and a hot spot for biodiversity. It is also the place where the 15th Conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) is about to be held. Such native species, but the traditional habitat of China, is hard to find today. In this archaic article 33 years ago, we can’t imagine how much damage these creatures suffered when tens of thousands of pangolins were hunted in the 1970s and 1980s!

We hope to find this great “pangolin protection hero” — Yang Peijun “and thank him for his calling at that time. We also wish to express our sincere respect and thanks to this pangolin protection hero. If you happen to know him, please forward this passage to him; please contact us if you know his whereabouts.

Our contact information: 010-88431370

Original Chinese article:

By / Cao Yuanming (Volunteer)

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