Demystifying traditional Chinese medicine for conservationists could be the key to better protecting endangered species like pangolins, tigers and rhino, according to University of Queensland-led researchers.
UQ PhD candidate Hubert Cheung said efforts to shift entrenched values and beliefs about Chinese medicine are not achieving conservation gains in the short term.
He said a better understanding of traditional practices was critical for conservationists to form more effective strategies.
“The use of endangered species in traditional Chinese medicine threatens species’ survival and is a challenge for conservationists,” Mr Cheung said.
“Pushing messages of inefficacy, providing various forms of scientific evidence or promoting biomedical alternatives doesn’t seem to be drastically influencing decisions and behaviours.
“And, although many practices and treatments continue to be criticised for lacking scientific support, the World Health Organization approved the inclusion of traditional Chinese medicine in its global compendium of medical practices last year.
“The challenge now is