World Pangolin Day is an opportunity for pangolin enthusiasts and nature lovers in general to join together in raising awareness about these unique mammals and their plight.
Pangolins or Scaly Anteaters are mammals of the order Pholidota (from the Greek word meaning “horny scale”).
These amazing creature’s numbers are rapidly declining in Asia and Africa due to poaching and illegal hunting. They are also under threat due to heavy deforestation of their natural habitats, and unfortunately, they are the most trafficked mammals in the world.
Across the world, there are eight species ranging from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered, so today is the day to start helping in raising awareness of these under-appreciated animals.
Very little is known about these creatures; however they are the only scaled mammal. These unique mammals covered in hard scales, comprised of keratin. They predate almost exclusively on ants and termites. They live in hollow trees or burrows, depending on the species.
Predominantly nocturnal and elusive, they are secretive mammals so it makes it hard to find out more about their habits. There are lifelong nature enthusiasts out there that have never even seen one in the wild!
To protect themselves, they curl into balls like hedgehogs. Their name comes from the Malay word ‘pengguling’ meaning ‘one that rolls up’. Another fun fact is that a pangolin’s tongue can be longer than its body when fully extended; it can be 40 cm long!
Many attempts have been made to reproduce pangolins in captivity, but due to their reliance on wide-ranging habitats and very particular diets, these attempts are often unsuccessful. Help save these amazing creatures by sharing this post and creating awareness for their plight; in so doing we all might just save the Pangolin for the generations to come.