Published on: October 4, 2023
New pangolin species
Why in news? Chinese researchers have discovered a new pangolin species based on genomic data collected from pangolin scales.
- The new pangolin species has been named Manis mysteria, or the Asian mysterious pangolin adding as the ninth to eight known species of pangolins
- They were found during the molecular species identification of smuggled pangolin scales seized in China’s Yunnan and Hong Kong regions, when new mitochondrial haplotypes were detected
- India is home to two species:
- Indian Pangolin, found across the subcontinent
- Chinese Pangolin, found across a larger area in south Asia. Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam see the presence of both.
- Both species are included under India’s Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act that could result in a jail term for those hunting animals listed here.
- It is often described as the world’s most trafficked mammal.
- Indian pangolin, also called thick-tailed pangolin and scaly anteater is a pangolin native to the Indian subcontinent.
- It can also curl itself into a ball as self-defence against predators
- Indian Pangolin is an insectivore feeding on ants, termites and nocturnal
- Listed in CITES Appendix I
- IUCN status : Endangered
- Distribution : Sri Lankan rainforest, plains to middle hill level, grasslands, adapted to dry areas and desert regions, but prefers more barren, hilly regions.
- It is a pangolin native to the northern Indian subcontinent, northern parts of Southeast Asia and southern China.
- It has been listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List
- Distribution : southern Nepal, north-eastern India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, northern Indochina, southern China including the island of Hainan, and most of Taiwan