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Important Facts For Prelims

Indian Pangolin

  • 05 Jan 2021
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Odisha Forest department has stressed the need for stricter monitoring of social media platforms to check pangolin poaching and trading.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Pangolins are scaly anteater mammals and they have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin. They are the only known mammals with this feature.
  • Diet:
    • Insectivore- Pangolins are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites, which they capture using their long tongues.
  • Types:
    • Out of the eight species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) are found in India.
    • Difference:
      • Indian Pangolin is a large anteater covered by 11-13 rows of scales on the back.
      • A terminal scale is also present on the lower side of the tail of the Indian Pangolin, which is absent in the Chinese Pangolin.
  • Habitat:
    • Indian Pangolin:
      • It is widely distributed in India, except the arid region, high Himalayas and the North-East.
      • The species is also found in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
    • Chinese Pangolin:
      • It is found in the Himalayan foothills in Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, Northern India, North-East Bangladesh and through Southern China.
  • Threats to Pangolins in India:
    • Hunting and poaching for local consumptive use (e.g. as a protein source and traditional medicine) and international trade for its meat and scales in East and South East Asian countries, particularly China and Vietnam.
    • They are believed to be the world’s most trafficked mammal.
  • Conservation Status:


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