World Pangolin Day is celebrated on the “Third Saturday of February” every year.
It marks the 11th edition of the event.
Each year, World Pangolin Day is observed annually to raise awareness and recommit international organisations to the fight against the global harvesting of pangolins.
The only truly scaly mammals in the world.
The day is an opportunity for pangolin enthusiasts and the wider human community to join hands in raising awareness about the plight of these unique mammals — pangolin numbers are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa.
Pangolins are a highly prized commodity, often illegally trapped, trafficked, and killed for its scale by organised crime networks on a large scale to serve the need of the traditional medicine market in Asia where pangolin scales are unfortunately believed to be a cure-all of sorts and pangolin flesh is considered a delicacy.
In Vietnam and Central and the southern parts of West Africa, pangolins are often offered at restaurants catering to wealthy clients who consider their meat rare and a statement of status.
Pangolin numbers are rapidly decreasing in Asia and Africa and is one of the most heavily trafficked mammals in the illegal wildlife trade.
From 2016 to 2019, an estimated 206.4 tonnes of pangolin scales or an equivalent of about 360,000 pangolins were intercepted and confiscated from 52 seizures according to a report by the Wildlife Justice Commission.
Wildlife Justice Commission is an international foundation set up in the Netherlands with the mission to disrupt and help dismantle organised transnational criminal wildlife trading networks.
Pangolins are the only mammal to be covered in scales.
To protect themselves, they curl into balls like hedgehogs.
When frightened, a pangolin will curl up into a tight ball to protect its tender underside, making it a prime target for illegal poachers.
Their name comes from the Malay word ‘pengguling’ meaning ‘something that rolls up’.
They are the most smuggled mammal in the world because people want their meat and scales.
A pangolin’s tongue can be longer than its body when fully extended and can be 40 cm long.
About Indian Pangolin
Indian Pangolins have thick scaly skin.
Indian Pangolins Hunted for meat and used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Pangolins are among the most trafficked wildlife species in the world.
Indian pangolin is the largest among eight pangolin species.
Out of the eight species of pangolin, the Indian and the Chinese pangolins are found in India.
Both these species are listed under Schedule I Part I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
The nocturnal animal lives in burrows and feeds on ants and termites.