Pangolin - World's most trafficked animal!

Written By Parag Kokane on Friday, February 21, 2020 | February 21, 2020

Pangolins are scaly mammals having large, protective keratin scales covering their skin. These are nocturnal animals, and their diet mainly consists of ants & termites. Pangolins are considered important regulator of termite populations in their natural habitat.

There are total 8 known species of Pangolins; out of which below four are living in Asia:
  • Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata)
  • Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla)
  • Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica)
  • Philippine Pangolin (Manis culionensis)
And other four living in Africa:
  • Tree Pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis)
  • Long-tailed Pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla)
  • Giant Pangolin (Smutsia gigantea)
  • Ground pangolin (Smutsia temmincki)
Pangolins are world's most trafficked mammal for their meet and for their keratin scales which are considered having medicinal properties. Habitat loss due to deforestation is further making their situation worst, causing a significant decrease in their numbers.

Indian Pangolins (Manis crassicaudata) can be seen in many parts of Western Ghats, India. They are commonly called as खवले मांजर in Marathi. But there has not been much of the research done on the species. For the same reason, NATURE WEB along with INHER has started working on the Pangolin Research Project to study life of the Indian Pangolins in Western Ghats, India.

Goal of our project is to study and understand the activity patterns, population dynamics, food selectivity, overall ecology of Indian Pangolin in Western Ghats and to gather further information about their behavior and survival strategies. Basic idea of collecting this data is to baseline the biological knowledge of the species and to create conservation guidelines which can be applicable across their range.

Through this project we aim to increase the awareness of vulnerable, less known, world's only scaled mammal - Indian Pangolin!


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