Why in News?

  • Recently, TRAFFIC and World Wide Fund for Nature-India has revealed that 1,203 pangolins were poached for illegal wildlife trade in India from 2018-2022.


  • Pangolins are nocturnal mammals that dig burrows and feed on ants and termites, and play a vital role in ecosystem management, mostly in aerating and adding moisture to the soil.
  • Pangolins are known for their unique appearance. They have scales made of keratin that cover their entire body.
  • When threatened, they can roll into a ball to protect themselves.
  • It is adaptable to a wide range of habitats including primary and secondary tropical forests, limestone and bamboo forests, grasslands and agricultural fields.
  • The Indian Pangolin is found across the Indian subcontinent; Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam also have the presence of Chinese pangolin.
  • Once known to be found in large numbers, its population is rapidly declining in its range due to habitat loss and rampant poaching for its skin, scales, and meat.
  • Pangolins are among the most trafficked wild mammals, globally, traded mostly in Asia, where their scales are considered to be medicinal and their meat a delicacy.
  • In the red list of animals published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Indian Pangolin is listed in the Endangered (EN) category.
  • The Chinese pangolin has been listed as “critically endangered”.
  • In India, pangolins, both Indian and Chinese, are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 that prohibits its hunting, trade or any other form of utilisation.
  • All pangolin species are listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I.





Share Socially