News:West Bengal forest Department has arrested six persons for allegedly smuggling pangolins in Kolkata.
- 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.
- Chinese pangolin – Critically Endangered
- Sunda pangolin – Critically Endangered
- Indian pangolin – Endangered
- Philippine pangolin – Endangered
- 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.