Pangolin or the scaly insect eating animal is elusive, nocturnal, non-aggressive, burrowing mammalian species present under the family Manidae. There are eight types of pangolins in the world of which four are appropriated in South Asia and the other four in Africa. The Asian species incorporate the Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis), Indian pangolin (M. crassicaudata), Chinese pangolin (M. pentadactyla) and Malayan pangolin (M. javanica).
In India, two pangolin species are available i.e. Indian pangolin and Chinese pangolin, while the Indian pangolin disseminated all through Indian states (aside from north-east state) and Chinese pangolin present in north-east state (Figure 1). Historically, Indian pangolin disseminated south-west China (Yunnan Province) (Heath 1995) and little territories of Bangladesh; however, they are accounted for to be locally terminated in the two nations (Heath 1995). The Indian pangolin might be arboreal yet for the most part nocturnal and terrestrial. Pangolins play an important ecological role, providing ‘pest’ control and improving soil quality due to their insect eating behavior. As we know that, a single pangolin consumes as much as 70 million insects per year mainly their favorite food diet ants and termites. Pangolin has cone-molded head and long sticky tongue to encourage exceptionally on termites and ants.
Illegal trades of Indian pangolin in India
The Indian pangolin is touchy, harmless and rather a moderate mover. It for the most part depends on 'moving up' mechanism for guard, and subsequently can without much of a stretch fall prey to poachers. From most recent two decades showcase interest for pangolin scales and meat increments and has moved hunting for neighborhood utilization to universal exchange, which thusly has strengthened the exploitation of Indian pangolin population.
Indian pangolin has been routinely hunted by different intrinsic gatherings every through it arrive go for a collection of purposes; especially for ethno remedial occupations. In India, some ethnic social affairs assume that scales and paws of Indian pangolin have germicide properties, and along these lines use pangolin hooks to cut air pockets or skin sore, and medications made of pangolin scales to recover wounds and aggravations (Mohapatra et al., 2015). Also, Bile of the Indian pangolins is used by a couple of gatherings in Arunachal Pradesh of India to cure the splenomegaly (Chinlampianga et al., 2013) while a few woods staying tribes in Orissa, India are known to wear rings made of Indian pangolin scales as an answer for stores/hemorrhoids (Mishra and Rout, 2009). Indian pangolin scales are also acknowledged to have nematocidal properties (Betlu, 2013).According to recent report of TRAFFIC, 2018, there are ca.6000 Indian pangolins are killed within nine years. In 2015 Madhya Pradesh, forest department enrolled n=120 offenses identified with Indian pangolin and arrest 122 individuals. Along these lines, they reveal how china move towards India to appeal of Indian pangolin scales utilized as a part of TMC. The neighborhood poacher are paid around Rs 2,000 - Rs 5,000 for a kg of pangolin scales and when scales came to in China, they cost around $2,500 a kg (or Rs 1.6 lakh).
However, in India population of Indian pangolin is declining consistently because of poaching and anthropogenic weight. As indicated by the IUCN published report, half populace of Indian pangolin vanished in the following 20 years (Mahmood et al., 2012; Baillie et al., 2014). Along these lines, their normally low birth rate (mostly one offspring a year) has additionally added to the negative population trend (Zhou et al., 2014). After the recognizing the high level of risk, the species has been recorded as an Endangered’ (EN) species by the IUCN (Baillie et al., 2014). In India, it is recorded under 'Near Threatened' (NT) category of the National Red List of India (Weerakoon, 2012), it is likewise incorporated into the ‘Schedule I’ of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Recently, Indian pangolin species have been incorporated into ‘Appendix I’ section I' of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, where overall trading for business reasons recorded species is totally confined (CITES 2016).
Notwithstanding legislative protection, poaching and trade in pangolin body parts continues to occur in India, which is having a seemingly harmful effect on pangolin populations there. Therefore, we propose that a series of additional measures are needed in order to relieve exploitative pressure on pangolins in India and to ensure the conservation of the species. These include continuing to raise awareness of the extent of the trade and the conservation predicament of pangolins with enforcement agencies and other stakeholders, tribal communities and members of the public, in order to generate support for and catalyse conservation action. However it is only through a multi-faceted approach which encompasses all these elements that the exploitative threat to pangolins in India can be reduced, and their long-term conservation secured.