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Trafficking and illegal trading of pangolin in Manipur: A view

 Oct 14, 2016

Source: The Sangai Express

By Rahul Ashem

Pangolin is the only mammals with scaly covered, shy and about the size of house cat, is the most illegal trading and trafficking animal in the world

Pangolin is known as Shaphu in Manipuri. The name comes from the term penguling meaning rolls up, to defend itself against predators by rolling into a ball like shape when threatened. Generally, Pangolins are known as anteaters, a medium-sized solitary, nocturnal, insectivorous and climbing tree mammal. They are found mostly in bamboo forests, limestone areas, grassland, agricultural fields, dry hill and plantation farms. The mammal is protected under schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, CITES in Appendix II of endangered animals by regulating and monitoring the international trade to prevent the mammals from extinction. The species is also recognised as IUCN Red Data list of threatened species.

Morphologically, pangolin tongue is longer than the body making it comfortable for eating insects, powerful frontal claws for digging termite mounds and odorous anal gland to ward off predators. Male are larger than the female part. Male exhibit remarkable parental instincts but the long lasting bondage is the relationship between mother and its offspring. Male attract female by urinating; an action which produces strong smell in which female can identify and locate using their extraordinary sense of smell (pheromones).  Mother pangolins nurse the offspring from the mammary glands till three to four months old. The female gives birth to single offspring at a time. The young pup come with soft scales, white colour and flexible for the first two to three days of their life. Although they are able to walk at birth, baby pup are carried on their mother’s tail or back.read more>>