Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
Asia
Shared by : Alina Ale (Nepal)
Region : Nepal
Status : Endangered(Indian Pangolin), Critically Endangered(Chinese Pangolin)
Introduction
Pangolin belongs to genus Manis Linneaus, 1758. It is derived from Malayan phrase 'Pen Gulling' meaning 'Rolling Ball'. They are also called scaly ant eaters as per their structure and food behaviors. The generic name of Pangolin in Nepal is "Salak" although it has some local names that are popular in particular areas. It is called "Kaynaya" (Newari language), "Kose" (Tamang language) and "Hilemaccha" in hills as it has bronze like overlapping scales.
Occurrence
They are found in the central and eastern part of Nepal. They are widely distributed in primary and secondary tropical forest, limestone forests, bamboo forests, grasslands and agricultural fields(Gurung, 1996 / suwal, 2011). They are solitary, nocturnal and good climber. They feed on ant and termites. They are slow breeders.
Status
Among eight different Pangolin species in the world, two species of Pangolins i.e. Chinese Pangolin(Manis pentadactyla) and Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicudata) are found in Nepal. Both the species are threatened and protected by National Park and wildlife conservation act, 1973.Internationally; it is enlisted in appendix II of CITES. It is also enlisted as endangered/critically endangered in the IUCN Red Data Book. Due to the lack of its ecological importance and poverty, it is being hunted and traded. Many people have beliefs that it's a magical creature and it can heal diseases like asthma, rheumatic fever, joint problem and etc. So it's traded inside and outside of the country. Its scales are also used in making garlands, which is due to the belief that, it saves children from evils and bad spirits. Not only scale but its whole body part is sold. It is also exported abroad for making mosquito repellants, belts, bags and other decorative items. Apart from trade forest exploitation is also the reason for its declining population.
Importance
Every species on this planet has an equally important role to play, in the absence of any species the ecosystem functioning can't go well. They feed on ant and termite, hence help the pest control. Also as they are burrowing animals due to which, they act as a plow and thus provides aeration to underground soil, mix them and improve soil quality making them appropriate for vegetation.
Action
These beautiful creatures are still under great threat, though many conservation efforts have been made. More research should be conducted on them. If effective awareness programs to the locals and the laws that have been set nationally and internationally should be implied strictly, their existence wouldn't be at doubt.

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