6 held for smuggling pangolins in Kolkata

News:West Bengal forest Department has arrested six persons for allegedly smuggling pangolins in Kolkata.


About Pangolin:


  • Pangolins or scaly anteaters are mammals of the order Pholidota.
  • They have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin and they are the only known mammals with this feature.
  • Pangolin diet consists mainly of ants and termites which they capture using their long tongues.
  • Pangolins have no teeth which means they chew with gravel and keratinous spines inside the stomach.

Habitat:There are a total of eight pangolin species across Africa and Asia.

  • Asian species: Sunda Pangolin, Philippine Pangolin, Chinese Pangolin and ‘Indian Pangolin’. 
  • African species: Long-tailed Pangolin, Tree Pangolin, Giant Pangolin and the Ground Pangolin. 
  • Of the eight species of pangolin,two are found in India.They are Chinese pangolin mostly found in northeast India and Indian pangolin is found in the rest of India.

Conservation Status:

  • Chinese pangolin – Critically Endangered
  • Sunda pangolin – Critically Endangered 
  • Indian pangolin – Endangered
  • Philippine pangolin – Endangered

Major Threats:

  • According to the latest report released by TRAFFIC in March 2018, Pangolin is the most trafficked mammal in the world. 
  • It is hunted for its meat across the northeastern States and in central India.
  • Pangolins is also smuggled for its scales especially in China as it is believed that scales possess magic or charms and have medicinal properties.