A pangolin hiking trail was officially inaugurated in Kirtipur on World Pangolin Day by a team of local community organisations and animal conservation groups. Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation has been working alongside Bhagbhairabh Community Forest group to increase awareness about the pangolin habitat and provide ‘Pangolin Guide Training’ to local participants. The Pangolin Trail starts from Bhagbhairahb Mandir, Bhagbhairabh Community Forest and ends at the Salak (Pangolin) Chautari.
The trail which is just over 5km long will have three local pangolin guides offering unique insight about the shy animals as well as valuable information about the community forest and other animals that are often spotted. With an approximate trail time of 2 hours, the pangolin trail in Kirtipur is a first in Nepal. The Pangolin Guide training concluded in mid-February with the participation of 32 individuals from the local community. According to SMCRF the training included “reflection on pangolin and other species found in the community forests of eco-trail from Machhegaun to Champadevi along with challenges and opportunities of conservation of wildlife.”
The most smuggled mammal in the world continues to fall in the hands of smugglers in and across Nepal. Organisations like SMCRF have been working actively across communities to foster a positive relationship with the animals and increase protection.
Well! I certainly look forward to visiting Bhagbharabh Mandir and also going on an educational walk on the Pangolin Trail next time I’m in the country.