Pangolin | UPSC
Pangolin scale seizures jumped 10 times between 2014 and 2018: UN report
WHY IN NEWS:
Pangolins are the most trafficked wild mammals in the world,
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: IUCN : Conservation of Flora and Fauna
For PRELIMS go through Habitat , Ecology and do not forget the IUCN Status .
For MAINS it is important to know why pangolins are poached . Let us dive in !
Pangolins are the most trafficked wild mammals in the world, with the seizure of their scales increasing tenfold between 2014 and 2018, according to a recent United Nations report.
- The Indian pangolin or thick-tailed pangolin is a solitary, shy, slow moving, nocturnal mammal,
- Unlike other pangolin species, the Indian pangolin does not often climb trees.
- Pangolins or scaly anteaters (order Pholidota, meaning ‘scaled animals’) are a group of unusual mammals with tough, protective keratin scales.
- The taxonomic order which pangolins belong to, Pholidota, is one of the smallest of the placental mammals.
- Four species are found in Africa and three in Southeast Asia.
Indian pangolins are found through parts of South Asia, from eastern Pakistan, India, southern Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
HABITAT AND ECOLOGY
- The pangolins occur in tropical forests, as well as open land, grasslands and degraded habitat, including in close proximity to villages.
- It is thought to adapt well to modified habitats, provided that its ant and termite prey remain abundant.
- Pangolins feed on other invertebrates such as beetles and worms.
- MEAT : The meat and scales of pangolins are used for medicinal purposes in several parts of the world.
- SCALES : Their scales reportedly promote blood circulation and increase lactation in pregnant women, while their meat is used as a tonic.
- MEDICINES : The use of pangolin products in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a number of ailments is well known as well.
- Loss and deterioration of habitat
- Increase in the agrarian economy
- improved irrigation and the use of pesticides .
- Nineteen countries have declared pangolin scale stockpiles to the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Uganda act as transit countries and logistical hubs for pangolin and wildlife trafficking.
- Nigeria was the primary point of export of pangolin shipments in 2019, while Vietnam emerged as the primary destination, the report pointed out.
- The Chinese government seized 23 tonnes of pangolin scales in a series of operations across the country in October 2019.
- Zoonotic diseases represent up to 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases.
- COOPERATION : There is a need for stronger criminal justice systems and improved international cooperation along with cross-border investigations
- ORGANISED CRIMES : Transnational organised crime networks reap the profits of wildlife crime, but it is the poor who pay the price.
- LEGAL SUPORT : Conservation of these shy animals should be an international agenda with increase support from governments to adopt necessary legislation and develop inter-agency coordination to tackle wildlife crime offences.
SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Pangolin | UPSC