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2023 SEP 30

Preliminary   > Environment and Ecology   >   Biodiversity   >   Species in news

Why in news?

  • Researchers analysing confiscated pangolin scales in Hong Kong and China’s Yunnan province have identified a new and distinct pangolin species named Manis mysteria through DNA analysis.
  • This discovery marks the ninth known species of pangolin.

About Pangolin:

  • Pangolins or scaly anteaters are mammals of the order Pholidota.
  • They are the only mammals wholly-covered in scales and they use those scales to protect themselves from predators in the wild.
  • They eat ants, termites and larvae. Because they have no teeth, Pangolins pick up food with their sticky tongues.
  • If under threat, a Pangolin will immediately curl into a tight ball and will use their sharp-scaled tails to defend themselves.


  • Nine species of Pangolins are found on two continents - Africa and Asia.
  • Four species found in Asia include Indian Pangolin, Philippine Pangolin, Sunda Pangolin, the Chinese Pangolin and Manis mysteria.
  • Of the nine extant species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin and Chinese Pangolin occur in India.


  • They are one of the most trafficked mammals in Asia and Africa.
  • Their meat is considered a delicacy and Pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine and folk remedies - in China and Vietnam.
  • This, coupled with deforestation, has led to a large decrease in the numbers of Pangolins.


  • All 9 species of Pangolin are placed in the Appendix I of CITES, reserved for the strictest prohibitions on animals threatened with extinction.
  • They are also listed on the IUCN Red List, all with decreasing populations and designations ranging from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered.

On the Indian Pangolin:

  • The Indian Pangolin, thick-tailed Pangolin, or scaly anteater is a Pangolin found on the Indian subcontinent.
  • The animal can be found in grasslands and secondary forests, desert regions but prefers more barren, hilly regions.
  • It is distributed throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka and South Asia.
  • IUCN Status: Endangered


Consider the following statements:

1.Of the nine extant species of pangolin, the Indian Pangolin and Chinese Pangolin occur in India.

2.The Indian Pangolin is classified as Endangered on IUCN Red List

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2