Indian Pangolin

Indian Pangolin

#GS 03 Biodiversity Conservation

For Prelims

Indian Pangolin

  • The Indian Pangolin is a pangolin native to the Indian subcontinent and are also called as thick-tailed pangolin and scaly anteater.
  • They are easily recognised due to its overlapping scales that acts as an armour for its body.
  • The colour of the scales of a pangolin varies depending on the colour of its environment.
  • A terminal scale is present on the lower side of the tail of the Indian Pangolin, which is absent in the Chinese Pangolin.
  • It is a nocturnal animal and is active during primarily during night and it rests in deep burrows during daytime.
  • World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in February every year in an attempt to raise awareness of pangolins and bring together stakeholders to help protect these species from extinction.

Variants found in India

  • The Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) are the only two pangolin species found in India.
  • Indian Pangolin is found throughout India except the arid region, high Himalayas and the North-East.
  • They are also found in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
  • Chinese Pangolin is found in the Himalayan foothills in Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, Northern India, North-East Bangladesh and through Southern China.

Conservation Status of Indian Pangolin

  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule I
  • IUCN Red List: Endangered
  • Chinese Pangolin is ‘critically endangered’
  • CITES: Appendix I

Source “Over 1,000 pangolins poached and trafficked in India in past five years