• IASbaba
  • February 20, 2023
  • 0
Environment & Ecology
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Context: According to the analysis by TRAFFIC, a global wildlife conservation non-profit, and World-Wide Fund for Nature-India, over 1200 Pangolins were poached for illegal wildlife trade in India from 2018-2022.

About Pangolins:

  • Pangolins are nocturnal, toothless mammals that dig burrows and feed on ants and termites.
  • Pangolins are scaly anteater mammals and they have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin.
  • Pangolin is the only scaly mammal on the planet.
  • It uses these scales as armor to defend itself against predators by rolling into a ball when threatened.
  • Out of the eight species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) are found in India.

About Ecosystem Services:

  • They play a vital role in the ecosystem management, mostly in aerating and adding moisture to the soil as well as succession of plant communities through burrowing.
  • They also keep in check the population of certain insects they prey on.
  • The burrows made by pangolins also get utilized as shelters by other species within their ecosystem.

Indian Pangolin

  • Range – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
  • IUCN – Endangered
  • The Indian pangolin, which dons a thick scaly skin, is hunted for meat and used in traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Both these species are listed under Schedule I Part I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Chinese Pangolin

  • Range – Bangladesh; Bhutan; China; Hong Kong; India; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Nepal; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Viet Nam
  • IUCN – Critically Endangered

Source: Down To Earth

Previous Year Questions

Q.1) Which of the following is not a bird? (2022)

  1. Golden Mahseer
  2. Indian Nightjar
  3. Spoonbill
  4. White Ibis

Q.2) Consider the following animals

  1. Hedgehog
  2. Marmot
  3. Pangolin

To reduce the chance of being captured by predators, which of the above organisms rolls up/roll up and protects/protect its/their vulnerable parts? (2021)

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 3 only
  4. 1 and 3


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