- February 18, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject : Environment
Section: Species in News
Context: Over 1,200 pangolins trafficked in India in 5 years: Report
More on the News:
- International non-profit organisation TRAFFIC has reported that 50% of seizures included live pangolins and 40% involved pangolin scales, used as an ingredient in traditional medicine in China and Southeast Asia.
- Odisha reported the maximum number of incidents, with 154 pangolins in 74 seizures.
- They are poached mainly for international markets in China and southeast Asia for their scales, which are used as an ingredient in traditional medicines. Pangolin meat is also considered a delicacy and consumed for its alleged medicinal properties.
- An earlier analysis of illegal pangolin trade in India by TRAFFIC in 2018 reported poaching of nearly 6,000 pangolins between 2009 and 2017.
- Pangolins are among the most trafficked wild mammals globally.
- India is home to two species: the Indian Pangolin and the Chinese Pangolin.
- Indian Pangolin is a large ant-eater covered by 11-13 rows of scales on the back. A terminal scale is also present on the lower side of the tail of the Indian Pangolin, which is absent in the Chinese Pangolin.
- Pangolins acts as both predator and prey, feeding on insects and also preyed upon by other animals.
- Other than regulating the population of insects, the pangolin is an ‘ecosystem engineer’ that builds burrows that help circulate soil organic matter, increase soil moisture and aeration, and affect plant community succession.
- Habitat :
- Indian Pangolin is widely distributed in India, except the arid region, high Himalayas and the North-East. The species is also found in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
- Chinese Pangolin is found in the Himalayan foothills in Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, Northern India, North-East Bangladesh and through Southern China.
- Threats to Pangolins in India:
- Hunting and poaching for local consumptive use (e.g. as a protein source and traditional medicine) and international trade for its meat and scales in East and South East Asian countries, particularly China and Vietnam.
- Protection Status
- IUCN Red List
- Indian Pangolin: Endangered
- Chinese Pangolin: Critically Endangered
- Both these species are listed under Schedule I, Part I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- Both these species are listed under appendix I of the CITES, meaning they are most endangered.