Scientists have, for the first time, radio-tagged the Indian pangolin, an endangered animal, that is rarely sighted in forests here. In a first-ever, two rescued Pangolins were tagged and released in the Satpura tiger reserve. Pangolins, listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and have equal protection like tigers, are most trafficked mammals for their scales.
Campaigners said the scaled and nocturnal mammal that is native to almost 51 countries remain the most hunted and trafficked due to their scales that are considered to contain medicinal properties.
Pangolin, the most trafficked mammal in the world have been used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine, and their meat viewed as a luxury item by Chinese.
The charity that they have selected - Save Vietnam's Wildlife (SVW) - rescued 349 animals from the illegal wildlife trade in 2018 and a total of 1,401 since SVW was founded in 2014. Like, this unique breed of mammals called Pangolin. The MP Forest Department and the Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) have embarked on a joint project to understand and effectively conserve the ecology of the Indian pangolin. The fieldwork is supported by the YES Bank under its CSR initiative. STSF, a specialized unit formed in the state for wildlife protection, has made effective efforts to control poaching and trade of all wildlife especially pangolin. "In recent years, we have successfully busted pangolin-smuggling syndicates that involved poachers and smugglers from more than nine States", said Rajesh Shrivastav, Chief Wildlife Warden of Madhya Pradesh.
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To that end, Crimson Pangolin has teamed up with Shanghai9 to fundraise. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says these toothless animals have seen a rapid reduction in population.
Now animal enthusiasts fear that anxiety over the new virus that originated in Wuhan, China, could further threaten the pangolin, whose eight species native to Asia and Africa range from vulnerable to critically endangered. The Chinese pangolin is found in North-East India while the Indian Pangolin is distributed across India, except the extreme arid zones, Himalayas and the North-East. Indian pangolin has been reported from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Despite protective measures, pangolins in India are widely traded both domestically and internationally.
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Edith Kabesiime, wildlife campaign manager at World Animal Protection, said that a global crackdown on poaching of pangolins should also involve public education to debunk the myths about medicinal properties of their scales. Where live animals are involved, globally there is about 50 per cent death rate among released pangolins.
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