India takes action:
- Madhya Pradesh forest department radio-tagged an Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) for the first time to know its ecology and develop an effective conservation plan for it.
- The team successfully rehabilitated two Indian Pangolins in the wild. This is the first-ever case of successful rehabilitation effort of the species where the released individuals are monitored in the wild using telemetry to ensure a better success rate.
- The measure comes as the world marks the ninth ‘World Pangolin Day’ on February 15, 2020.
- It is an international attempt to raise awareness about Pangolins and bring together various stakeholders to help protect them from extinction.
- It’s a joint venture of the forest department and the NGO- Wildlife Trust Organistaion.
- Pangolins are currently the most trafficked wildlife species in the world and their numbers are declining.
About Pangolins: Significance:
- Commonly known as ‘scaly anteaters’
- Pangolins evolved scales as a means of protection. Unlike big carnivores like lions or tigers, they usually curl into a ball as defence mechanism.
- The scales defend them against dental attacks from predators. This unique protection mechanism has now become the leading cause of the pangolin’s disappearance.
- The scales are in high demand in China, where they are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
- Recently China seems to have found that its scales can even cure Corona Virus infections.
- Pangolin meat is also in the top order in China and Southeast Asia. Consequently, pangolins have seen a rapid reduction in population globally.
- The projected population declines range from 50 percent to 80 percent across the genus.
- The species are protected and listed under the Schedule I Part I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
- IUCN Status: IUCN Red List puts the Indian Pangolin under Endangered category.
- However, despite protective measures, pangolins in India are widely exploited and traded both domestically and internationally.
World Pangolin Day:
- World Pangolin Day is celebrated every year on third Saturday of the month of February.
- Ninth Pangolin Day is being celebrated on 15th of February 2020.
- Pangolin Day is marked by several organisations including UNEP.
What is Telemetry?
Telemetry is the collection of measurements or other data at remote or inaccessible points and their automatic transmission to receiving equipment for monitoring. The word is derived from the Greek roots tele, “remote”, and metron, “measure”.