Scaly Ant Eater
Pangolin or Scaly Ant Eater is the only true scale-bearing mammal in the world. It feeds on the eggs, larvae and adults of ants and termites some of which are serious domestic and agricultural pests. Thus, Pangolin serves as natural pest control for the human society. Geographically, there are two species of Pangolins reported in India. One of them is Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata). It is found in almost all parts of India except North Eastern states and high altitude regions in the Himalayas.
As per the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there is hardly any information available on population level of any species of pangolin. Pangolin is less studied due to its secretive, solitary, and nocturnal habits. Nevertheless, based on the volume of Pangolin body parts in the international wildlife trade, all species of Pangolin are listed in the global list of threatened animals. Pangolin scales and meat are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine. In the red list of animals published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Indian Pangolin is listed in the Endangered (EN) category. In India, it is listed in the Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life Act 1972, signifying highest protection needed to save its natural population.