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World Pangolin Day 2024- February 17

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World Pangolin Day - February 17 2024World Pangolin Day is annually observed across the globe on the 3rd Saturday of February to celebrate and raise awareness about the Pangolin or scaly anteater, one of the most unique mammals on Earth, and their plight.

In 2024, World Pangolin Day falls on 17th February 2024. This marks the observance of the 13th World Pangolin Day.

  • The 12th World Pangolin Day was observed on 18th February 2023.
  • The 14th World Pangolin Day will be observed on 15th February 2025.

Note: The first World Pangolin Day was observed in February 2012.

About Pangolin:

i.Pangolin are the only mammals wholly covered in scales and they use those scales to protect themselves from predators in the wild.

ii.Their scales are made of keratin, which is the same protein found in rhino horn and hair and human fingernails.

iii.These mammals are insectivores that eat ants and termites using their long, sticky tongues as they have no teeth.

iv.The word pangolin comes from the Malay word “penggulung”, which means “roller”.

Pangolin Species:

There are 8 species of pangolins.

4 are found in Asia: Chinese (Manis pentadactyla), Sunda (Manis javanica), Indian (Manis crassicaudata), and Philippine pangolins (Manis culionensis); and

4 are found in Africa: the Temminck’s Ground (Smutsia temminckii), Giant Ground (Manis gigantea), White-bellied (Phataginus tricuspis), and Black-bellied pangolins (Phataginus tetradactyla).

Status of Pangolin Species:

i.All 8 species of pangolin are listed as threatened with extinction on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

ii.As per the 2019 assessment of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group for the IUCN Red List:

  • Chinese, Sunda, and Philippine pangolins are listed as “Critically Endangered”.
  • The Indian, Giant, and White-bellied Pangolin are listed as “Endangered”.
  • Temminck’s, and Black-bellied pangolins are listed as “Vulnerable”.

ii.All 8 pangolin species are protected under national and international laws but face declining populations because of illegal trade.


i.The number of pangolin species is rapidly declining in Asia and Africa due to poaching and illegal hunting.

ii.Tens of thousands of pangolins are poached every year, killed for their scales for use in traditional Chinese medicine and folk remedies.

iii.Their meat is a delicacy among some ultra-wealthy in countries like China and Vietnam.

Protection Efforts:

i.As ‘the most trafficked non-human mammal in the world,’ Pangolins are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) by the IUCN’s Red List.

ii.In 2016, the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP17) (in Johannesburg, South Africa) to CITES, brought in an international commercial trade ban for all 8 pangolin species.

iii.In 2022, the CoP19 to CITES urged countries to remove references to parts and derivatives of pangolins from the official pharmacopoeia to help save the species.

  • Countries were suggested to replace the references with acceptable substitute products that do not threaten the existence of another wild species.

iv.The Indian Pangolins are protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

2024 Events in India:

i.Environmentalists and the Andhra Pradesh (AP) Forest Department organised an awareness program to mark World Pangolin Day 2024.

ii.Chiranjiv Choudhary, Principal Chief Conservators of Forest (PCCF) and Head of Forest Force of the Forest Department; and Ajaya Kumar Naik, Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) and PCCF (Wild Life), AP released a poster on the Indian Pangolin at Aranya Bhavan in Mangaligiri, AP.

  • They also released brochures in English and Telugu languages on ‘Rescue and Rehabilitation Guidelines for Indian Pangolin’ for first responders on how to rescue and rehabilitate pangolins in distress.