Do you know Pangolins?
A number of people did not know about Pangolins until the world was hit by the COVID19 Pandemic. It is believed that this Virus broke out of the animal markets in Asia and particularly associated with Pangolin. The breakout of the SARS coronavirus helped reduce the trade in pangolin products including their meat and scales.
Pangolins must be thanking God for saving them from human consumption during this unprecedented time. There are a number of people inexplicably ignorant about pangolins. Many of them buy Pangolin products unawares. As we celebrate this beautiful creature, here is what you must know about pangolins.
Pangolins (Pholidota) are scaly mammals with keratin scales covering their skin for protection, There are eight Pangolin species. Pangolins have habitants in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa with Manis, Phataginus and Smutsia types.Four pangolin species exist in Africa and Four in Asia.
Pangolins are one of the solitary species in the world. They stay in hollow trees or burrows, they could be added to the introverted family because they are shy and only meet to mate once a year! Pangolins only produce two or three off springs which they raise in about two years.
Pangolins are nocturnal animals which only see at night and feed mostly on ants and termites which they capture using their long-salivated tongues. Due to their poor vision during day time, Pangolins are guided by their sense of smell. These creatures have been listed by the IUCN as threatened with extinction. They are often poached for their meat and scales. Pangolin meat is a delicacy in china and Vietnam and their scales are used in traditional medicine in China.
Due to the Corona virus pandemic and the constraint it has brought to economies, It has been reported that Ugandans have resorted to poaching Pangolins food survival. Its also believed that Pangolins have been religiously eaten as wild meat in Ghana and Nigeria, also in East Asia their ground up scales are believed to make traditional medicine that they believe to stimulate lactation, cure cancer, arthritis and asthma. Because of these assumed benefits, over 100,000 Pangolins are estimated to be trafficked a year to China and Vietnam driving the species towards extinction.
There is an existing conflict between Humans and pangolins .Besides poaching, there exists a number of threats to these shy animals. Their habitation which includes forests, are cut down at a rate of 40 football fields per day.
As we mark this WORLD PANGOLIN DAY 2021, its imperative that you challenge yourself and take an oath to protect these pangolins. Its everyone’s role to preserve nature and change starts with you. Regardless of your role in the community, a public servant, a conservationist, a teacher, doctor or nurse, you carry a mandate to protect the Pangolin. The easiest way to do this is; stop purchasing pangolin products, refrain from eating game meat, and protect the natural habitats such as forests where these animals stay.
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