How do you get people to care about the fate of an animal they've never heard of? Find that animal a featured role in an addictive video game.

That's what Prince William is betting will help raise awareness about the plight of the pangolin and other species.

pangolinThe Duke of Cambridge, who serves as president of United for Wildlife, teamed up with the makers of "Angry Birds" to create an online tournament called "Roll with the Pangolins."

The challenge, which runs through Nov. 23, allows users to play a special version of "Angry Birds" that features animated pangolins and information about the plight of this endangered species.

"The humble pangolin, a scaly anteater, is one of the most endangered animals on the planet because of poaching," the prince says in a video. "The pangolin runs the risk of becoming extinct before most people have even heard of them."

There are eight different species of pangolin and all are threatened by illegal poaching. The animals are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, and their scales are often used in traditional Chinese medicine, even though they're medicinally useless.

No one knows exactly how many pangolins are illegally sold each year, but it probably numbers in the tens of thousands, according to wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.

To participate in the "Roll with the Pangolins" tournament, you can play on Facebook.

Learn more about the tournament and other endangered wildlife in Prince William's video above.

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Laura Moss writes about a variety of topics with a focus on animals, science, language and culture. But she mostly writes about cats.

Prince William, 'Angry Birds' team up to save pangolins
The little-known endangered mammal is the star of a week-long "Angry Birds" tournament to raise awareness about wildlife poaching.