Overview

Brief Summary

Taxonomy

Manis javanica belongs to the Mammalian order Pholidota, meaning ‘scaled animals’.
  • Manis is derived from the Latin term manes, referring to the spirits of the dead or ghosts in Roman religion. The genus is so named due to their nocturnal habits and unusual appearance.
  • Javanica refers to the geographical region in which this species occurs.
The common name ‘pangolin’ is from the Malayan term ‘peng-goling’ (a roller) and refers to the animal’s defence strategy of rolling into a ball (Gotch, 1979).
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Introduction

Manis javinicus the Malayan pangolin is an endangered species.Humans are the main threat to the pangolin by hunting them for meat and body parts and destroying their natural habitat.
  • Trade in pangolins (live and dead) is on an international scale. The meat is eaten by local people and traded as a delicacy.
  • Powdered scales and other body parts are believed to be medicinal and are also used as an aphrodisiac. Whole scales are used to scratch the skin
  • Pangolin hides are used in the manufacture of leather goods, especially footwear.
  • Pangolins are also used in local folk-law rituals.
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

Size
  • Head and body length: 425-550mm
  • Tail: 340-470mm
  • Ear: 15-22mm
  • Hind foot: 75-90mm
  • Adult weight: 5-7kg
(Lekagul, 1988)
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Distribution

Range Description

This species ranges over much of mainland Southeast Asia, from southern Myanmar through central and southern Lao PDR, much of Thailand, central and southern Viet Nam, Cambodia, to Peninsular Malaysia, to Sumatra, Java and adjacent islands (Indonesia) to Borneo (Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei) (Schlitter 2005). The northern and western limits of its range are poorly known. It has been recorded from sea level up to 1,700 m asl.

This species is distributed in southern Myanmar (Corbet and Hill 1992; Salter 1983), but is absent from lowland areas due to human agricultural expansion and hunting (Duckworth pers. comm.2006).

The species historically occurred throughout Thailand (Lekagul and McNeely 1977; Bain and Humphrey 1982; WCMC et al. 1999), but has since been lost from much of the lowland areas due to human agricultural expansion and hunting (J.W. Duckworth and R. Steinmitz pers. comm.2006).

In Viet Nam, there are records from throughout the central and southern parts of the country. There are older records from Kontum Province, Tay Ninh Province and Quang Nam Province (Bourret 1942; Peenen et al. 1969). There are more recent records (summarised by (Newton 2007)) from: Ha Tinh Province (Timmins and Cuong 1999); Kein Giang and Ca Mau Provinces (in U Minh Thuong National Park) (CARE, 2004); Dong Nai, Bin Phuoc and Lam Dong Provinces (Cat Tien National Park) (Murphy and Phan 2001); Quang Binh (Le et al. 1997b); and Dak Lak (Le et al. 1997a; Dang et al. 1995).

The species is evidently widespread in Lao PDR, with recent records from a wide range of areas below around 600 m altitude, with the possibility that in Lao PDR the species is restricted to the Mekong plain and adjacent foothills to around 900 m, with a possible occurrence on the Bolaven Plateau, including Xe Pian National Biodiversity Conservation Area in the south at least as far north as Nam Kading (Deuve and Deuve 1963; Duckworth et al. 1999; J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006).

The species is widespread in Peninsular Malaysia, primarily in forest, but also in gardens and plantations, including rubber (Medway 1977). It is also found on the island of Penang.

The species is still found in the wild in Singapore (CITES 2000; Lim and Ng 2007).

This species is reportedly widespread on Borneo, from sea level to 1,700 m on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah (Payne et al. 1985), although it appears to be absent from the extensive peat swamp forests of Sarawak (CITES 2000). In Sabah, the species is rarely seen, although is evidently widely distributed, being known by local people throughout Sabah (Davies and Payne 1982). The species is presumably present in Brunei (Medway 1977).

In Indonesia, the species is widespread on Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Kiau and Lingga archipelago, Bangka and Belitung, Nias and Pagi islands, Bali, and adjacent islands (Corbet and Hill 1992).

In the northern part of the range, the species probably does not occur not above 600 m asl (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006). In Sabah it has been recorded up 1,700 m asl (Giman pers. comm. 2006). In Sumatra and Java it is found only up to about 400 m asl (Boeadi pers. comm. 2006), though there is a specimen in the Natural History Museum (London) at 1,500 m asl from Lombok (P. Newton pers. comm.). In the northern parts of its range, the species overlaps with the range of Manis pentadactyla, which is generally said to occupy higher altitudinal habitats, though recent interviews with in Viet Nam suggest that they can be found in the same areas of forest, and that the differences between them are ecological, relating to diet and habitat use, rather than altitude (P. Newton pers. comm.).
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Geographic Range

Malayan pangolins, Manis javanica , inhabit the paleotropics. Specifically, these pangolins are found in southeastern Asia within the Indomalayan regions.

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

  • Corbet, G., J. Hill. 1992. Mammals of the Indomalayan region. Oxford: Natural History Museum, London and Oxford University Press.
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Distribution and habitat

Distribution
  • Burma
  • Thailand
  • Central & Southern Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Malaysia
  • Sumatra
  • Java
  • Borneo and adjacent islands
(Wilson, 2005)

Habitat
Pangolins inhabit a variety of environments including:
  • grasslands
  • subtropical thorn forest
  • rain forest
  • thick bush
  • barren hilly areas
  • agricultural habitats such as rubber plantations
(Lekagul, 1988)They are mainly terrestrial but are excellent at climbing and may be found resting or feeding in trees (Nowak, 1999).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Malayan pangolins are strikingly unique creatures, whose coat of movable and sharp-tipped scales are reminiscent of descriptions of a dragon's armor or "living pine cones" as they are nicknamed. They are 79-88 cm long, including the tail, and males are typically larger than females. They are covered from just above the nostrils to the tips of their tails by many rows of overlapping scales (17-19 rows on midsection and >20 rows along tail) . The scales on the back and sides are olive-brown to yellowish and hard. These scales are derived from hairs. The underbelly and face are covered in whitish to pale-brown hair, and the skin is gray to bluish.

Males are larger than females. The species has a small conical head with small eyes that are protected by thick eyelids. The external ear parts are greatly reduced. The nose is fleshy, and the mouth lacks teeth. They have extremly long, thin tongues, capable of extending about 25 cm, which covered with a sticky saliva. This helps them collect termites and ants. They have significant adaptations to account for their enormous tongue which passes through the chest cavity and anchors to the pelvis. These include lack of a clavicle, and and odd structure of their xiphisternum (Nowak, 1999). They are pentadactylous; their forefeet are equipt with pads on the soles, large digging claws and are longer and stronger than their hindfeet. Malayan pangolins have prehensile tails and can close their nostril and ear openings.

Range length: 79 to 88 cm.

Sexual Dimorphism: male larger

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Pangolins are difficult to confuse with any other mammal. The majority of the dorsal surface is covered by hard, moveable, overlapping scales, olive brown to yellow in colour, giving the appearance of a ‘living pine cone’ or artichoke (Nowak, 1999).View more pangolin images.

Scales
In M. javanica, scales are absent on the snout tip, ventral and lateral regions of the face, the throat and ventral surface of torso. The tough skin of the scale-less regions is greyish with blue/pink tinge. The scales grow from the skin and are of similar construction to rhino horn, being formed of hairs cemented together. There are 3-4 hairs between scales. The hairs are pale brown to white.The posterior edges of the scales are sharp and ridged however the shape and surface of the scales alters with wear.

Body
The body is elongated and tapers at the conical head and the long, prehensile tail. The ratio of tail length to total length is more than 0.42There are 30 tail scales and a smooth, well-developed glandular pad on the ventral surface of the tail tip. The ears are reduced to ridges and a nictitating membrane is present on the eyes. The conical skull is very simple in form and toothless, with nostrils located at the tip.

Tongue
The tongue is extensively adapted for feeding. It is long (approximately 50% of head & body length), 5mm thick and can be extended 250mm. Within the stomach, the tongue is encased in a sheath, supported by cartilage rods. The tongue muscles are anchored to the pelvis.

Claws
Pangolins are pentadactylous with long, powerful claws on each foot and short, stocky legs. The claws on the forefeet of M. javanica are not longer than 1.5 times those of the hind feet. The longest claw is on the middle digit. The skin on the feet is granular, with pads on the forefeet. The hind feet are plantigrade (Lekagul, 1988).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in primary and secondary forest, and is found in cultivated areas including gardens and plantations, including near human settlements. ). Hunters interviewed in Viet Nam reported that they are found in a variety of habitats, though areas with primary forest support more pangolins, probably because they contain more older, larger trees with hollows suitable for sleeping and for use as den sites (P. Newton pers. comm.). In Sabah, they may be able to survive in forest remnants for up to 7 or 8 years, and they have been known to forage on human rubbish (Han pers. comm. 2006). The population in Singapore is in very low quality forest, in which they have been able to survive for decades and become very abundant (Duckworth pers. comm. 2006).

As with other pangolins, this species is nocturnal, solitary and a specialized feeder on ants and termites. Inference from other species indicates that one young is born at a time, after a gestation period of at minimum 130 days.

Hunters in Viet Nam consistently reported that Manis javanica is a more arboreal species than Manis pentadactyla, and that they are adept climbers, with prehensile tails. They often climb to access ants nests in trees. They sleep in hollows either in, or at the base of, trees, rather than excavating their own burrows in soil (as Manis pentadactyla does).

Lim and Ng (2007), recorded the activity budget of a radio-tracked individual, with the following results: maternal care following the birth of a single offspring was for approximately 3-4 months. Three natal dens were used, all associated with hollows in large trees (>50 cm DBH). Home-range size was estimated as being 6.97 ha. Daily activity was 127 +-13.1 minutes, with peak activity between 03h00 and 06h00.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Malayan pangolins inhabit a variety of landscapes, including primary and secondary forests, open savannah country, and areas vegetated with thick bush. They often observed in cultivated areas such as gardens and plantations. Although they are terrestrial creatures that inhabit burrows, either excavated with their huge claws or borrowed from previous residents, they are known to be agile climbers and spend time within trees resting or searching for food.

Habitat Regions: tropical

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest

Other Habitat Features: agricultural

  • Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, Sixth Edition. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Malayan pangolins are also known as scaly anteaters; they are extreme specialist (myrmecophages) eating only ants and termites.

Animal Foods: insects

Primary Diet: carnivore (Insectivore )

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Scaly anteaters may be important in controlling insect populations. It is estimated that an adult pangolin may consume about 70 million insects annually.

By constructing burrows and digging a bit to get at ants and termites, these animals also aid in soil aeration.

Ecosystem Impact: soil aeration

  • Heath, M. 1992. Manis pentadactyla. Mammalian Species, 414: 1-6.
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Predation

Malayan pangolins have a functional suit of armor to protect them from predators, sharp underbrush, and rocks. When threatened, a pangolin will swish its tail about with the pointed scales erect. If that doesn't work to deter the threat, the animal will curl up into a tight ball so its soft belly is protected within. If the pangolin is unravelled, its last resort is to squirt a foul-smelling liquid onto the potential predatory while devoiding its bowels at the same time.

Known Predators:

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Known predators

Manis javanica is prey of:
Boidae
Homo sapiens
Panthera pardus

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Known prey organisms

Manis javanica preys on:
Insecta

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Not much is known about pangolin communication, but it is suspected that their main mode is via scent markings. As with all mammals, there is some visual communication, and tactile communication occurs, especially between mothers and offspring, potential mates, and potential rivals for mates. Pangolins are also known to make some vocalizations.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Other Communication Modes: scent marks

Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic

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Feeding

Pangolins feed mainly on ants & termites but will take other soft-bodied insects and larvae (Nowak, 1999).The stomach contents of one pangolin were estimated to contain in excess of 200 000 ants.Pangolins use their excellent sense of smell to locate prey. They have good hearing but relatively poor eyesight. They use their powerful claws for digging and tearing apart ant hills.Pangolins have no teeth. The tongue is coated with very sticky saliva and is flicked in and out of the mouth to pick up ants. Any debris that also sticks to the tongue is filtered out in the throat by a rhythmic action, whilst the food is swallowed.The stomach is thick, muscular, with a horny laminated epithelium and usually contains stones. It is thought to act in the same way as a bird’s gizzard (Lekagul, 1988).To protect them from ants, the eyes have a membrane and thick lids and the ears and nostrils can be closed (Nowak, 1999).View and image of a pangolin feeding.
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Migration

Pangolins are not known to migrate.M. javanicus territory sizes are not known but a breeding female was recorded using an area of approximately 7 hectares (Lim, 2008).Pangolins mark their territory with faeces along tracts, marking trees with urine and an anal gland secretion (Macdonald, 1984).
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Behaviour

Pangolins are usually solitary and nocturnal. They are generally timid and wary in character.

Burrows
They live in underground burrows that they dig out themselves or modify those created by other animals. Depth depends on the soil; in loose soil burrows may be over 600cm deep. The burrow terminates in a large chamber. The entrance is blocked with soil or other material when the pangolin is in residence (Lekagul, 1988).

Movement
Pangolins generally move slowly on all fours with a shuffling gait. The fore-claws are folded inwards so that the pangolin walks on its knuckles.The tail is carried elevated slightly off the ground (Nowak, 1999).They are able to stand upright with the aid of their tail as a balance. Pangolins can move up to 3mph when moving bipedally (Macdonald, 1984).Pangolins use a ‘caterpillar motion’ to climb trees using their feet and claws. Laterally projecting scales at the side of the tail assist with gripping the trunk when climbing. They may be found feeding or resting in trees (Lekagul, 1988).They can also hang by their tail-tip but tire quickly (Banks, 1949). View an image of a pangolin hanging by its tail.

Defence tactics
When disturbed they roll into a ball so the armoured tail and limbs protect the soft underparts. They are said to coil up so tightly that they cannot be unrolled. The scales are erected and shuddering movements of the scales and tail act as a further deterrent to predators (Nowak, 1999).They are also known to secrete acrid liquid from the anal region when threatened (Jentink, 1908).

'Ant bathing'
Pangolins have been seen taking ‘ant baths’. They roll in a nest, trapping ants under their scales and then submerge themselves in water to remove the ants. It is suspected this behaviour is used to clean their skin and scales (Nowak, 1999).
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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Due to their elusive nocturnal habits and low population numbers, there have not been any long-term published studies done of Malayan pangolin lifespan. They are extremly hard to keep alive in captivity, which also does not allow people to collect any data about their lifespan.

However, a con-generic species, M. crassicaudata produced one specimen which lived in captivity for almost 20 years.

  • Tweedie, M. 1978. Mammals of Malaysia. Kuala Lampur: Longman, Malaysia.
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Reproduction

Sparring for potential mates has been reported. Coupled with the sexual dimorphism in size, the evidence supports the conclusion that males compete for females, and that some males probably don't get to mate. This means the species is probably at least somewhat polygynous.

Mating System: polygynous

There is not much information known about Malayan pangolin reproduction. Violent sparring over potential mates has been documented. These pangolins are thought to breed in the autumn, and to give birth in the winter burrow. Gestation is about 130 days. One or rarely two offspring may be produced. Weaning occurs after three months, and sexual maturity is reached by one year of age.

Newborn pangolins have soft scales, which harden after birth, and can weigh from 100 to 500 g. Neonate weight probably varies with the adult body size of the species. Some populations of pangolins may be capable of year-round breeding.

Breeding interval: These animals probably breed annually.

Breeding season: These pangolins are thought to breed in the autumn, and give birth in winter burrow.

Range number of offspring: 1 to 2 (rarely).

Average number of offspring: 1.

Average gestation period: 130 days.

Average weaning age: 3 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 years.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); fertilization (Internal ); viviparous

Parental care seems to be the responsibility only of females. Females nurse their young for approximately three months. Young are fairly agile at an early age and are considered precocial.

Observations of females adopting other's young have been documented. Females have 1 pair of mammae. Mother pangolins are extremly protective. When threatened, a mother will curl up into a tight ball with her young safely nestled within. At other times, the young rides upon the base of the mother's tail.

Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)

  • Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, Sixth Edition. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Medway, L, 1969. The Wild Mammals of Malaya. London: Oxford University Press.
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Compared to other species, little is known of M. javanica reproduction.They usually give birth to one young, occasionally two. The scales are soft at birth but harden on the second day (Nowak, 1999). Births are thought to occur during February to March or August to October (Banks, 1949).Young cling to base of mother’s tail, using their claws to hook under scales of the tail. Female pangolins roll up into a ball with their offspring enclosed in the centre in order to protect them from danger (Banks, 1949).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2d+3d+4d

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Duckworth, J.W., Pattanavibool, A. Newton, P. & Nguyen Van Nhuan

Reviewer/s
Stuart, S.N. & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Endangered A2d+3d+4d due high levels of hunting primarily for medicinal purposes. There have been suspected declines of 50% over the last 15 years (generation length estimated at 5 years), and projected continuing declines over the next 15 years, with the intensity of hunting steadily moving into the southern parts of the species' range.

History
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/near threatened
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
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Populations of most pangolin species are somehow threatened. M. javanica is listed by IUCN as LR/nt, meaning that it is nearly threatened, and comes close to meeting the criteria necessary to be listed as vulnerable.

There is a high demand for pangolin scales for traditional medicines in many parts of the world. Meat is eaten by indigenous peoples. Hides are also used to make shoes. One of the main importers of pangolin skins from 1980-1985 was the United States of America.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: appendix ii

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered

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Conservation

Manis javinicus the Malayan pangolin is an endangered species.Humans are the main threat to the pangolin by hunting them for meat and body parts and destroying their natural habitat. Many of the individuals traded are females, foetuses or young therefore severely impacting population regeneration. Pangolins do not usually survive well in captivity and are therefore not suitable for farming.There is no sign of decreasing pressure on the pangolin populations.In 2009, as in previous years, there were significant hauls of illegal shipments. The demand and scale of trade is still increasing.

Threats


From humans
Trade, medicine, ritualTrade in pangolins (live and dead) is on an international scale.
  • The meat is eaten by local people and traded as a delicacy.
  • Powdered scales and other body parts are believed to be medicinal and are also used as an aphrodisiac. Whole scales are used to scratch the skin
  • Pangolin hides are used in the manufacture of leather goods, especially footwear.
  • Pangolins are also used in local folk-law rituals.
Habitat
  • Habitat destruction
  • Fragmentation of habitat
  • Alteration of habitat. For example, deaths on roads, poisoning from pesticide use on agricultural land


Natural predators
  • Pythons
  • Tigers
  • Leopards


Economic imporatance
Pangolins have a very important role in economic terms as a natural pest controller of termites and ants.
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Population

Population
Virtually no information is available on population levels of any species of Asian pangolins. These species are rarely observed due to their secretive, solitary, and nocturnal habits, and there is not enough research on population densities or global population (WCMC et al. 1999; CITES 2000). There appear to be no comprehensive population estimates available, although records are reportedly rarer in many range states.

It is extremely rare in the northern part of its range (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm.), less so in the southern part (Boeadi pers. comm.). There have been massive declines in the northern part of its range (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm.). It is very common in parts of Singapore (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm.), where Lim and Ng (2007) estimated the range size of one individual, but made no estimate of total population size or density. In Sabah it is relatively common (Han and Giman pers. comm.).

In three areas of Viet Nam where interviews were conducted (Khe Net Protected Area, Ke Go Nature Reserve and Song Thanh National Park), hunters reported that populations had massively declined in the last few decades, but particularly since about 1990 when the commercial trade in pangolins began to escalate (Newton 2007). In all three areas, the species was described as now being extremely rare. The intense biodiversity survey effort and extremely limited number of confirmed records of pangolins throughout Viet Nam?s protected areas adds weight to this observation (P. Newton pers. comm.).

In three separate areas within the range of Manis javanica in Lao PDR (Xe Pian, Dong Phou Veng and Khammouan Limestone NBCA), villagers have recently reported that pangolin populations have declined, in some areas to as little as one percent of the level 30 years ago due to hunting (Duckworth et al. 1999).

There is no recent data on the status of this species in Myanmar (WCMC et al. 1999).

M. javanica is considered threatened and becoming increasingly rare in Thailand (Bain and Humphrey 1982; Steinmitz pers. comm. 2006).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Threats to Asian pangolins include rapid loss and deterioration of available habitat and hunting for local use and for international trade in skins, scales, and meat. Evidence suggests that pangolins, in general, are able to adapt to modified habitats (e.g., secondary forests), provided their termite food source remains abundant and they are not unduly persecuted. However, whilst secondary habitats may be suitable, on the basis of hunters? reports in Viet Nam and the evidence of Lim and Ng (2007) in Singapore, it seems that the availability of tree hollows, which is higher in undisturbed forest, is also extremely important for this species (P. Newton pers. comm.).

The species is intensively used, for its skin, meat and scales, and is evidently subject to heavy collection pressure in many parts of its range. The species may be harvested for local (i.e. national-level) use, as well as for international export either before or after processing. Observations in mainland Southeast Asia indicate that there is very heavy unofficial, or at least unrecorded, international trade in pangolins and pangolin products, although it is not possible at present to disentangle this trade from local use (WCMC et al. 1999; CITES 2000). The majority of utilization and trade data on pangolins in Asia do not distinguish reliably between the Asian species of pangolin (Manis crassicaudata, Manis culionensis, Manis javanica, Manis pentadactyla). The two most commonly traded species (Manis javanica, Manis pentadactyla) have significant populations in some of the same countries (especially Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam), and because both species are imported into China, it is often not possible to determine which species is referred to in both local use and export (WCMCet al. 1999). The lack of accurate population and harvest data across this species? range, makes it difficult to assess the level and impact of harvest. The total from national use and international trade indicate that, at a minimum, several tens of thousands of animals were harvested and traded annually during the 1990s (WCMC et al. 1999). Figures, discussed in detail in Broad et al. (1988) and WCMC and IUCN SSC (1992), indicate that trade of this magnitude also took place at least up until the mid-1980s (e.g. over 185,000 skins reported in international trade by CITES in the period 1980-85 alone). An estimate in the late 1950s and early 1960s indicates that scales of some 10,000 pangolins (Manis javanica) per year were exported from Borneo (Harrison and Loh 1965).

The trade routes and degree are both sophisticated and extensive occurring over land and by sea. Most of the trade concerns Manis javanica, but traders do not distinguish between the species. Scales are used medicinally and the skins are used as a leather, but the medicinal use is greatest. In the past animal parts were used to cure skin diseases, but now it is used in China to cure cancer. The increased wealth in China is leading to a large increase in rates of exploitation of this species. In all of Lao PDR, the population crashed more than 90% in the last 10 years (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006). More recently, since Lao PDR and Thailand populations have greatly reduced, hunted animals are brought in from Indonesia and large numbers of live animals to be exported to China have been seized (GMA, Indonesia Workshop 2006). Indonesia has been illegally exporting great numbers of live animals, some of which come from east Kalimantan (Semiadi pers. comm. 2006).

The population in the southern part of Thailand crashed because of trade, however, in the western part of Thailand it is more stable due to presence in protected areas (Anak pers. comm. 2006). In the last few years many animals have been confiscated from illegal traders (Han pers. comm. 2006). This species is hunted by specially trained dogs, which can smell it out, making hunting much more effective ? such pangolin dogs are highly valued (up to USD 2000) (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006).

Every hunter interviewed in Viet Nam (n = 84) reported that they now sell all pangolins that they catch (P. Newton pers. comm.). Prices are so high that local, subsistence use of pangolins for either meat or their scales has completely halted in favour or selling to the national/international trade (P. Newton pers. comm.). The only occasions on which a hunter might eat a pangolin is if it is already dead when they retrieve it from a trap ? then they would use the meat and sell the scales (P. Newton pers. comm.). The price per kg of pangolin (in Viet Nam, at least) has escalated rapidly (at a rate greater than that of annual inflation) since the commercial trade in wild pangolins began to expand in about 1990 (P. Newton pers. comm.). Prices paid to hunters now exceed US$95 per kg (Viet Nam, P. Newton pers. comm.); US$45 per kg (Cambodia, C. Phallika pers. comm. to P. Newton) and US$17 per kg (Indonesia, D. Martyr pers. comm. to P. Newton).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed on CITES Appendix II; a zero annual export quota has been established for specimens removed from the wild and traded for primarily commercial purposes. It is protected by national legislation in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. It is found in protected areas in its range, but has been hunted out of some protected areas in its range, especially in Thailand (Anak pers. comm.). Much more effective enforcement of existing laws is critical for the conservation of this species (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm.). Some protected areas in Viet Nam are heavily trapped for this and other species.

In Singapore, the species is protected under the Wild Animals and Birds Act (Domestic Law) 1904 and Endangered Species Act (Import/Export, CITES Law).

The species is legally protected in Viet Nam for Manis javanica.

Manis javanica has been protected in Indonesia since 1931, under Wildlife Protection Ordinance No. 266 of 1931 (promulgated by the Dutch administration), as well as under Act. No. 5 of 1990, regarding Conservation of Natural Resources and Their Ecosystems; Decree of the Minister of Forestry No. 301/kpts-II/1991 and Decree of the Minister of Forestry No. 822/kpts-II/1992.

Manis javanica is completely protected in west Malaysia under the Protection of Wild Life Act, 1972; a protected species, banned from local trade, in Sarawak under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998; and protected in Sabah under the Wildlife Conservation Bill, 1997.

In accordance with the Protection of Wildlife, Wild Plant and Conservation of Natural Areas Act 15(A), M. javanica is categorized as a Completely Protected Animal in Myanmar.

In Thailand, all Manis spp. are classified as Protected Wild Animals under the 1992 Wild Animals Reservation and Protection Act B.E. 2535.

The legal status of pangolins in Lao PDR is unclear, as a result of internal contradictions in Lao PDR laws applicable to wildlife and wildlife trading. However, Provincial and District Agricultural and Forestry Offices in Lao PDR have been confiscating large numbers of pangolins, so there is evidently a perceived legal basis for doing so (WCMC et al. 1999).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There have been no reports of negative effects of these animals on humans. Lacking teeth, they can't even bite.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Malayan pangolins are hunted for their skins, scales, and meat. Their parts are used for medicinal purposes.

Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material; source of medicine or drug

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Wikipedia

Sunda pangolin

The Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica), also known as the Malayan or Javan pangolin, is a species of pangolins[1] found in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia (Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and the Lesser Sunda Islands), Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and Malaysia and Singapore.[2] These pangolins are found in Southeast Asia’s forested habitats (primarily, secondary, scrub forest) and plantations (rubber, palm oil). Mostly, they spend time within trees, resting or searching food.

Taxonomy[edit]

In the past, this species has included the closely related Palawan pangolin (M. culionensis), as both are in the subgenus Paramanis.[3] It is closely related to the Chinese pangolin, although the Malayan species is larger, lighter in colour, and has shorter fore claws.

Description[edit]

Photo from 1932

The skin of its feet is granular, although pads are found on its front feet. Its tail has 30 scales.

It has thick and powerful claws to dig into the soils in search of ant nests or to tear into termite mounds. The nose is fleshy and gives the pangolin a strong sense of smell. It has no teeth. Instead, its long, sticky tongue helps it collect ants and termites. Its body is covered by rows of scales and fibrous hair. The head-body length of this pangolin is up to 65 cm, tail length is up to 56 cm, and its weight is up to 10 kg. Males are larger than females.

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

Pangolins give birth annually to one or two offspring. They breed in the autumn, and females give birth in the winter burrow. Parental care will be given for about three months. Pangolins are sometimes found in pairs, but normally they are solitary, noctural, and behave timidly. They protect their soft underparts by rolling into balls when they feel threatened. They are strong diggers and will make burrows lined with vegetation for insulation near termite mounds and ant nests.

The Sunda pangolin's main predators are the tiger and the clouded leopard.

Relationship with humans[edit]

Pangolins are hunted for their skins, scales, and meat for the superstitious belief that they possess special healing powers. Scales are made into rings as charms against rheumatic fever, and meat is eaten by indigenous peoples. Skins are also used to make shoes. One of the main importers of pangolin skins from 1980–1985 was the United States of America.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Schlitter, D. A. (2005). "Order Pholidota". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 530. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  2. ^ a b Pangolin Specialist Group (1996). Manis javanica. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  3. ^ Schlitter, D. A. (2005). "Subgenus Paramanis". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 530. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
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