Protecting the Indian Pangolin: Success in Conservation Efforts

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January 3, 2024

Protecting the Indian Pangolin: Success in Conservation Efforts

Understanding Pangolins

  • Pangolins, recognized as scaly anteaters, stand out as the sole mammals adorned with robust keratin scales coating their skin. Among the eight global species (equally split between Asia and Africa), India shelters two: the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) and the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).

Insight into the Indian Pangolin

  • The Indian pangolin, also termed the thick-tailed pangolin, thrives within the Indian subcontinent. Despite international trade bans, they persist as one of the most trafficked mammals globally.
  • Distribution: These pangolins inhabit regions south of the Himalayas in India, along with Bangladesh, Southern Nepal, parts of Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
  • Habitat: Primarily adapted to desert environments, they favor barren, hilly terrains up to 2,500 feet above sea level. Their ideal habitat comprises soft, semi-sandy soil conducive for burrow construction. Remarkably, they’ve displayed adaptability in various tropical forests, open lands, grasslands, and near human settlements.
  • Distinct Features: Adorned with large, interlocking scales offering robust protection, these pangolins boast approximately 13 rows of mobile, sharp scales that shed periodically. Their scale color mirrors their surroundings, and they adeptly curl into a defensive ball. As insectivores, they rely on a diet of ants and termites. Nocturnal by nature, they seek refuge in deep burrows during daylight.

Conservation Status

  • IUCN Red List: Classified as Endangered.
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Listed under Schedule I.
  • CITES: Designated under Appendix I.

Success in Conservation Initiatives

  • The dedicated pangolin conservation endeavor implemented at Pench Tiger Reserve and Satpura Tiger Reserve has yielded positive outcomes. Encouragingly, these reserves have witnessed a resurgence in pangolin breeding, marking a notable triumph in safeguarding these elusive creatures.
  • In summary, the strides made in safeguarding the Indian pangolin serve as a testament to the efficacy of focused conservation projects, crucial in preserving the diversity of our wildlife.

Get In Touch

B-36, Sector-C, Aliganj – Near Aliganj, Post Office Lucknow – 226024 (U.P.) India

+91 8858209990, +91 9415011892


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Protecting the Indian Pangolin: Success in Conservation Efforts | Vaid ICS Institute