Participatory conservation of the Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) in coastal Maharashtra, India.
SNM activities (2015 to 2018)
Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM) was established in 1992 in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, India. Since then we have been working in the field of biodiversity conservation. Over the last 26 years, we have conducted projects on environment education, biodiversity research and conservation action Projects. Please check our website http://snmcpn.org
Trigger of Pangolin conservation
We are aware that Pangolin is the most trafficked mammal in the world. It is an endangered species as per the IUCN red data book. The illegal trafficking of its scales, meat and even juveniles runs into millions of dollars and hundreds of ton by volume. In 2015, we realized that the roots of the illegal trade of Pangolins have spread to our area as well. In July 2015, 44 kilogram Pangolin scales was seized. An average adult Indian Pangolin yields 1.5 kilogram scales. That means, at least 30 Pangolins were hunted. There were three more incidents that followed the July 2015 incident. We realized the gravity of the situation and decided to take up the challenging task of protection and conservation of Indian Pangolin in our area – the coastal Maharashtra.
Threats to Pangolin in Konkan, India
Coastal Maharashtra is commonly referred as Konkan region. Major threat to Indian Pangolin in Konkan region is illegal hunting. In the past it was limited to local consumptive use. However, in the last few years, hunting has increased manifold due to the global demand and the enormous money involved in it. In our area, it seems that, persons involved in national and international trade contact the local persons who kill the Pangolin for the money. Other significant threats to Indian Pangolin are habitat loss and the lack of awareness in the local communities, about its dwindling population.