In News: A Pangolin was rescued from the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve
- Out of the eight species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) are found in India.
- Pangolins are scaly anteater mammals and they have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin.
- They are the only known mammals with this feature.
- Insectivore- Pangolins are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites
- Habitat – Indian Pangolin – It is widely distributed in India, except the arid region, high Himalayas and the North-East.
- Chinese Pangolin – found in the Himalayan foothills in Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, Northern India, and North-East Bangladesh and through Southern China.
Difference between Indian and Chinese Pangolin
- 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.
- Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
- IUCN Red List: Indian Pangolin – Endangered; Chinese Pangolin – critically endangered
- CITES: Appendix I
- Hunting and poaching for local consumptive use 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
Source: The Hindu