Pangolins are a highly endangered species and they are hunted for their scales. Though, the use its scales for medical or other purposes is banned internationally, yet they are used illegally to treat arthritis and stomach ailments in countries like China and Thailand.
The Indian pangolin is a mammal found in the tropical regions of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal. It is an scaled insectivore that feeds on ants and termites. It can curl itself into a ball as a form of self-defence against predators such as the tiger.
A pangolin’s tongue is extremely elongated. Large pangolins can extend their tongues up to 40 centimetres with a diameter of 0.5 centimetres. The nocturnal animal uses its sense of smell while digging to reach nests or mounds and also when foraging for food. The lifespan of the ant-eaters is about 12 years.
Currently, the Indian pangolin is listed as near-threatened by IUCN. This species is included in Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
Chinese Pangolin is also found in several parts of India and other countries. It is also an at eater, classified as endangered by the IUCN. It is highly specialised in feeding solely on ants and termites.