Nepal is home to an incredible amount of wildlife and pangolins are also in that very long list. The country is home to these incredibly cute Chinese and Indian pangolin. Known in the Nepali language as ‘Salak’, the animal is reportedly found in 44 districts across the country. Sadly, it happens to be the most smuggled animal in the world!
Some Pangolin Facts:
- They are very shy animals with their tongue as long (or longer) as their body!
- An adult pangolin eats around 20,000 ants and termites in a day
- Pangolins love to take care of their young ones, carrying babies on their backs just like humans
- The name comes from the Malay language “pengguling”, meaning ‘one who rolls up’.
- They are friendly, so please be nice to them and respect their space
Some of the key objectives from the first Pangolin Conservation Action Plan (2018-2022) are to secure their habitat, enhance their status in communities and increase the pangolin population in Nepal.
Pangolins are actually listed as protected species in Nepal. Killing, poaching, transporting, selling or buying them is punishable with a fine of Nrs 1 million (US$ 9,000) or jail time.
Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation (SMCRF) diligently works in Nepal to raise the profile of many animals including pangolins. Tulshi Laxmi Suwal from SMCRF shares that the Chinese and Indian pangolins in Nepal face risks from poaching, lack of public awareness, forest fires and encroachment of forest area.
PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS PROVIDED BY TULSHI LAXMI SUWAL