Pangolin | 02 Aug 2021

Why in News

Recently, a pangolin was rescued by a team from Noida and handed over to the forest department.

Key Points

  • About:
    • The pangolin, also called scaly anteater, is an elongated, armour-plated insectivore mammal.
    • It uses these scales as armour to defend itself against predators by rolling into a ball when threatened.
    • Also, a pangolin’s long claws help it to dig the ground for termites, which is its staple food.
  • Species of Pangolin:
    • Seven species of pangolin are found across the world, of which, two are found in India, namely Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).
    • The Indian Pangolin is found throughout the country south of the Himalayas, excluding the north-eastern region while the Chinese Pangolin ranges through Assam and the eastern Himalayas.
    • The Chinese pangolin is distinguished from other Asian pangolins by its almost helmeted appearance, smaller scales than the Indian pangolin.
  • Habitat:
    • It is adaptable to a wide range of habitats including primary and secondary tropical forests, limestone and bamboo forests, grasslands and agricultural fields.
  • Threats:
    • Once known to be found in large numbers, its population is rapidly declining in its range due to habitat loss and rampant poaching for its skin, scales, and meat.
    • It is a highly trafficked mammal; due to their huge demand for medicinal purposes, pangolins are smuggled through roads and rails and sent to China.
  • Protection Status:

Source: IE