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12th World Pangolin Day – 18th February 2022

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World Pangolin DayWorld Pangolin Day is annually observed across the world on the 3rd Saturday of February with an aim to create awareness about Pangolins a unique endangered mammal and their plight.

18th February 2023 marks the observance of the 12th World Pangolin Day. 

  • The 11th World Pangolin day was observed on 19th February 2022.
  • The 13th World Pangolin Day will be observed on 17th February 2024.

About Pangolin:

i.Pangolins are the only mammals wholly covered in scales and they use those scales to protect themselves from predators in the wild that feeds on ants and termites.

ii.The hard plate-like scales of the pangolins are made of Keratin.

iii.The name pangolin is derived from the Malay word ‘pengguling’ meaning ‘something that rolls up’.

iv.8 species of pangolins are found on 2 continents:

  • 4 species live in Africa: Black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla), White-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), Giant Ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea) and Temminck’s Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii).
  • 4 species found in Asia: Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis), Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).

v.The pangolin species are protected under national and international laws.

Status of Pangolin:

They are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species running from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered.

  • Chinese, Sunda and Philippine pangolins are listed as Critically Endangered
  • Indian, White Bellied and Giant pangolins are listed as Endangered.
  • Black Bellied and Ground Pangolin are listed as Vulnerable.


i.The population of pangolins in their natural habitats including Africa’s wild jungles and tropical forests has been on the decline in the recent past.

ii.The decline in the pangolin population is driven by illegal trafficking, climatic shocks and diseases.

Efforts to protect: 

i.WWF(World Wide Fund for Nature), together with TRAFFIC(Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce), is working in Asia and Africa to protect pangolins and other species from wildlife crime.

ii.All pangolin species are listed in Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix I.

iii.In India, pangolins, both Indian and Chinese, are protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.