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Also how you can help protect the endangered pangolin.
The African Pangolin is a picky little eater that some not-so-picky eaters seem to enjoy as well. Unfortunately, this dietary habit for some Asiactic countries does not bode well for this unique creature. The Pangolin is currently listed as critically endangered by the IUCN.
People like Lisa are on a mission to save them
Margrit and Russ (Nikela’s founders) travel Africa looking for people saving wildlife. Not the big guys, the little guys. They found Lisa in Zimbabwe. Lisa, Ellen and their team rescue pangolin from poachers and give them a second chance to live wild. LEARN MORE...
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The Pangolin, which is sometimes called a “scaly ant-eater,” is a mammal in the order of Pholidota. There are eight related species in the extant family, Manidae in the genus, Manis. Also for the related species, there are a number of extinct species that are known.
Pangolins are naturally found in tropical regions of Africa and Asia.
Pangolins, as mentioned before, are “scaly ant-eaters” in appearance. The word pangolin actually comes from a Malay word “to roll up.” The Pangolin is covered in large keratin scales – this makes the Pangolin unique because it is the only known mammal with this particular adaptation. Pangolins also emit a noxious fume similar to a skunk’s except that the Pangolin cannot spray it directly.
Pangolins are mostly insectivores but interestingly enough, they are generally picky about what they eat. They usually only eat one or two specific types of bugs despite wider availability.
Panoglins tend to “fly” (crawl) solo. They come together about once a year in order to mate. In a turn of events, females find male territories and seek out a suitable male with which to mate. If there is a dispute over a female however, the male Pangolins will use their tails as clubs to fight for the privilege of mating with the female. African species of Pangolins generally only give birth to one offspring per gestation, while some Asiatic species may give birth to up to three at a time. Young Pangolins typically stay with their mother until approximately two years of age when they reach sexual maturity, where the mother then abandons them.
Conservation Status and Threats
Pangolins–all species–are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature.) This is due to their meat and scales being considered a delicacy in some Asiatic countries. Some also believe that their scales hold medicinal properties. Illegal international trade of Pangolins increases the threat of extinction to Pangolins each year.
Contributed by Nikela Volunteer Anne Okonowski
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