By: Yahya sardar
How all living things, including plants, animals, and other entities of nature, all have an equal right of existence and life on earth says Quran.
Every creature made for the human’s benefit as human being is the superior of all the creatures
One of the animal that benefits humans in multiple ways is Indian pangolin also called manis crassicaudata.
A meeting held in Islamabad by World wild life-Pakistan. Some renowned researchers and professors briefed media about the grant research they compiled on Indian pangolin. Doctor Muhammad Waseem, Doctor Shaista Andleeb and Doctor Tariq (Prof ARID University Rawalpindi)told media about the crucial importance of Indian pangolin. Their research started back fifteen years ago with the cooperation of U.S fish and wildlife service. Since then the aforementioned department is supporting WWF-Pakistan for pangolin conservation. Indian Pangolin founds mostly in sub-continent. It falls under the category of small mammals, has a thick tail and weights almost thirteenkg (Adult Pangolin). Forest is the best preferred habitat of pangolins. By adopting best techniques and policies pangolins can help generate a healthy revenue and has the potential to boost economy of a country.
Doctor Muhammad Waseem told media about illegally trafficking of Indian pangolins. The illegal trade and smuggling of pangolins continues from border to border and also inside the country which is badly violating state policies and animal rights. A survey made in Karachi, Islamabad. Rawalpindi and Muzaffarabad which says that all 239 shops including birds, pet stores and other local vendors were involved in illegal trade of Indian pangolins. Derivatives of mammals, reptiles and birds are being sold by street vendors and herbalists.
They produce medicines which they considered good for joints pain and muscles weakness. Karachi and Lahore were identified as containing the highest number of shops dealing with illegal wildlife trade followed by Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Muzaffarabad, Karachi and Islamabad international airport are highly important places from where the illegal pangolins trade has been conducted in the past. China and Afghanistan are also the strategic places where there is high demand of this trade.
Tweleve Indian pangolins trafficked every single hour;
Nature has set specific rules for creatures. Every specie depend and feed on others in order to alive. Termites and small insects harm our wooden buildings and furniture so they feed on termites and insects. Having their adequate population reduce the risk of ruining crops, seeds and food. Because insects and termites has a negative impact on crops. They live in underground tunnels which they make using their strong teeth. This also has positive affect on land as they dig mud outwhich increases the fertility of land ultimately seeds grow better in that land. Pangolinscan also save millions of rupees which we spend on pesticide spraying to protect crops from termites and insects. Moreover pangolins are also beneficial in ground water recharge as they dig out the porous mud which helps maintain water level. Aforementioned benefits makes pangolins environment friendly.
Being a distinct animal pangolins has a lot of misconceptions among people. People claims that pangolins dug out the dead bodies from grave and then eat it as their food however Doctor Shaista Andleeb denied such allegations and mentioned this is nothing but a myth.A community based survey was conducted to understand the scale of poaching from different villages. A total of two hundred and fifty locals were interviewed during the questionnaire survey. Out of total, seventy six were poachers. The poachers use spotlight in order to hunt pangolin.
The survey revealed that 42% of hunters use spotlight to trap them and then smuggle and trade it illegally. Due to the illegal hunting and trafficking the population of pangolins is declined by 80% and only 20% of them are left. To eradicate such misperceptions and illegal poaching world pangolins day was celebrated in 2018, 2019, and 2023 in Islamabad, Mirpur, Karachi and other cities furthermore pangolins documentary were screened in schools to improve the awareness of children and students on pangolins. Communities meet ups were held by WWF-Pakistan in Mirpur and Bhimber(AJK) to raise awareness about the ecological importance of Indian pangolin and eliminate the misconceptions about the animal.
Indians pangolins can be found in KPK including Mardan, Swabi , Malakand, Nowshera, Dara Adamkhel and DI Khanbut lesser in number. So a strict policy should be made by wildlife management authorities which guarantees the solid actions against illegal poachers and traders. Taking such measures we can together protect andconserve pangolin’s species.