World Pangolin Day was recently celebrated on February 18. Every year the day is celebrated on the third Saturday of February month. The main objective of the celebration is to create awareness about the decline in the population of Pangolin. The population of Pangolin is decreasing rapidly in Africa and Asia. The main reason for the decline is their medicinal value. Pangolin scales have several medicinal properties.
• Sometimes called scaly anteaters, Pangolins are the only mammals in the world to be covered in protective scales
• Its scales are in high demand. Their scales have several medicinal properties. Their scales are made of keratin, the same material found in human fingernails
Pangolins in India
According to the World Wildlife Fund, more than 1,203 pangolins were poached and trafficked between 2018 and 2022. Pangolin is world's most trafficked mammal. Indian Pangolins are hunted and exported to markets in South Asia and China.
Two species are found in India—Indian Pangolins or Manis crassicaudata, and Chinese Pangolin or Manis pentadactyla. I
There are eight pangolin species four in Asia and four in Africa.
Pangolin illegal trade in India
Among the Indian states, Odisha had the highest seizures. More than 154 pangolins were seized in 74 encounters. Following Odisha, Maharashtra has the second-highest seizure incidents. More than 135 pangolins were seized in Maharashtra between 2018 and 2022 according to the WWF report. 50% of the seizures had live pangolins. 40% had pangolin scales.
Why is Pangolin high in demand ?
The scales of Pangolin have high medicinal properties. They are used to heal back pain and treat strokes, and rheumatism.
How important is Pangolin?
Pangolins are very important to balance the ecosystem. They play a major role in the food chain. A single Pangolin eats 70 million insects. They are natural pest controllers.