IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group

Overview :-

The IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group is an organization of volunteers from across the world to which focuses on saving the scaly anteaters, the pangolin.

Animal :-

The Pangolin, also known as scaly anteaters, are endangered animals found in multiple places across the world. It is a small animal with hard scales around it for protection, the scales are made out of keratin. the pangolin has up to 900 to 100 scales. It rolls up into a ball when seems threatened.

Pangolins live in few places at the moment - India, South China, Philippines, Vietnam, Angola, Zimbabwe, DRC, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Gabon, Republic of Congo, and Malaysia.

Species :-

Chinese pangolin :-(Manis pentadactyla)

Overview : The Chinese Pangolin is eminent from other Asian pangolins by its sort of helmeted head, it has smaller scales than the Indian pangolin, it overlaps the ranges of the Sunda pangolin. It can be distinguished by the claw length on its forelimbs, its tail length, and modeling and shape. The Chinese pangolin can be distinguished by the number scale rows and also the Chinese pangolin is under more threat than the other pangolins as it is in the hotspot for killing for its beneficial presence

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered

Photo Credit - IUCN, Pangolinsg

Threats :-

There are various threats to the pangolin from trading and poaching for food and medicine. Habitat destruction, overexploitation

Illegal Trading :-

Despite conservation efforts by the International society, according to the CITES( Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora ), which aims to ensure that wild animals don't go extinct due to international trade, the pangolin is on the CITES appendix-2 by 1995 and on CITED appendix-1 by 2016.

On the year 2000 a zero export quotas for wild-caught specimens traded for primarily commercial purposes had came into effect for the pangolin, which translates to no trading of the pangolin.

Scales :-

The scales of a pangolin is like rhino horns and human nails, they are all made out of keratin. The are said to be good in curing kidney problems and helping improve conditions during cancer, again only in China and Vietnam, even though there is no evidence that it helps. The pangolin scales are used as traditional medicines in Africa and are known as 'muti' and 'juju' in Africa all over.

Overexploitation Impact :-

According to the statistics, the population of the Chinese, sunda, philippine pangolins are under even more threat than before and has gone into commercial extinction. There has also been a constant rise in trafficking of these animals since the last decade in Africa and in Africa it has become a wealthy man business due to its high income. The monitoring of the international trade has become a tough task to maintain, especially in Asia, as there is no uniform monitoring methods for pangolins.

According to other evidence, the pangolins have been listed as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable by the IUCN red list which was updated last in December 2019.