Do you know what this belt is made of?

A belt

© WWF-US/Keith Arnold

It’s made of pangolin leather.

What we choose to buy and which animals we choose to keep as pets can have a profound impact on wildlife. The demand for exotic pets and wildlife products and artifacts has increased dramatically over the last few years. This demand feeds wildlife crime and devastates populations of elephants, sea turtles, rhinos, and tigers, among other species.

Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world, with over 1 million animals poached over 10 years. These unusual animals are covered in scales, have no teeth, and eat ants, termites, and larvae with their sticky tongues.

In Asia and in growing amounts in Africa, the demand is for their meat and scales is primarily. In the United States, there’s demand for pangolin products, particularly for their leather to be used in boots, bags, and belts.

Find out how WWF is helping to end the trade in illegal wildlife products through e-commerce and social media platforms—and how you can help.