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

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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Range Description

The species is widely distributed geographically, occurring across mainland and island Southeast East Asia, from southern China and Myanmar through lowland Lao PDR, much of Thailand, central and southern Viet Nam, Cambodia, to Peninsular Malaysia, to Sumatra, Java and adjacent islands (Indonesia) and to Borneo (Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei) though the northern and western limits of its range are poorly known (Schlitter 2005, Wu et al. 2005). It has been recorded from sea level up to 1,700 m asl.

This species is distributed in central and southern Myanmar (Corbet and Hill 1992, Salter 1983), but has apparently been eradicated widely from lowland areas due to human agricultural expansion and hunting (J.W. 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. comms. 2006). Camera trap data confirms the presence of the species in Khao Yai National Park (Lynam et al. 2006 in Newton et al. 2008).

In Viet Nam, there are records which very in reliability from throughout the central and southern parts of the country. There are older records from Kon Tum Province, Tay Ninh Province and Quang Nam Province (Bourret 1942). There are more recent records (summarised by Newton 2007) from: Ha Tinh Province (Timmins and Cuong 1999); Kien 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). Recent research suggests the species is present but rare in central and southern Viet Nam (MacMillan and Nguyen 2013, Nuwer and Bell 2013). However, it is understood to be present in Cat Tien National Park and recent enforcement activity suggests the species is still present in Dak Nong, Kon Tum, Quang Binh and Gia Lai provinces as well as U Minh Thuong National Park (L. Fletcher & A. Nguyen, pers. comms. 2013). Based on camera trap data it is also present in U Minh Ha National Park (Willcox et al. in prep.).

This species was presumably widespread in Lao PDR historically. There are records of varying reliability from a wide range of areas below c. 600 m asl altitude, though it is possible that in Lao PDR the species is restricted to the Mekong plain and adjacent foothills up to c. 900 m asl, with a possible occurrence on the Bolaven Plateau, north from Xe Pian National Biodiversity Conservation Area in the south at least as far north as Nam Kading (Duckworth et al. 1999, J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006). Nooren and Claridge (2001) reported that populations in Lao PDR have been severely reduced as a result of hunting for consumption and trade.

In Cambodia, M. javanica has been recorded as present from 150 m to 800 m asl (A. Olsson pers. comm. 2012). According to hunters in Cambodia, its distribution is concentrated around water bodies in the dry season, though in the wet season is present throughout deciduous forest, low land and mountainous evergreen forest and secondary forest. Although it is widely distributed in Cambodia, hunters infer that it now only occurs in low numbers.

The species is widely distributed geographically in Peninsular Malaysia, primarily in forest, but also in gardens and plantations, including oil palm and rubber plantations (Medway 1977; Numata et al. 2005). It is also found on the island on Penang. Numata et al. (2005) and Ickes and Thomas (2003) note its presence in oil palm and regenerating lowland dipterocarp forest in and around Pasoh Forest Reserve where it was previously considered common. Manis javanica remains present within oil palm plantations in Selangor and Negri Sembilan, Peninsular Malaysia, based on interviews with plantation workers (Azhar et al. 2013). However, Azhar et al. (2013) report that in areas where interviews have been conducted that it is in decline from hunting for trade.

This species is widely distributed on Borneo, from sea level to 1,700 m asl on Mount Kinabalu in Sabah (Payne et al. 1985). It has been recorded in mixed dipterocarp forest, riverine forest (Azlan and Engkamat 2013) as well as remnant forests here (Giman et al. 2007). It is rarely seen in Sabah, especially compared to ten years ago (Panjang, E. pers. comms. 2013), although it is evidently widely distributed, being known by local people throughout the state (Davies and Payne 1982). The species is reportedly still found in Kebun Cina Forest Reserve (Sabah; Damit 2009) while data from Sabah Wildlife Department suggest the species is mainly distributed in central Sabah (E. Panjang pers. comm. 2013). Surveys conducted in 2005 report the presence of the species at Bintulu, Sarawak (Wilson et al. 2006) though it appears to be absent from the extensive peat swamp forests in this state (CITES 2000). The species is presumably present in Brunei, which was reported by Medway (1977), and which is supported by the 'rescue' of a small number of individuals here in 2013. The abundance of this species is understood to be low in the peat-swamp forests of east and central Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo; S. Cheyne pers. comm. 2012) but otherwise has a widespread distribution in Indonesia on Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Kiau and Lingga archipelago, Bangka and Belitung, Nias and Pagi islands, Bali and adjacent islands (Corbet and Hill 1992).

The species is still found in the wild in Singapore and adjacent islands, including Pulau Tekong, and potentially Pulau Ubin (CITES 2000, Lim and Ng 2007).

In the northern part of its range, the species probably does not widely occur above 600 m asl (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006). In Sabah it has been recorded up to 1,700 m asl (Payne et al. 1985) and there is a specimen in the Natural History Museum (London) from 1,500 m asl from Lombok, Indonesia (P. Newton pers. comm. 2008). Again 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 hunters in Viet Nam suggest that they can be found in the same areas of forest, and that the differences between the species are ecological, relating to diet and habitat use, rather than altitude (P. Newton pers. comm. 2008).
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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

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

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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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

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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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in primary and secondary forest, including lowland dipterocarp forest, and cultivated areas including gardens and oil palm and rubber plantations, including near human settlements (Azhar et al. 2013, Nowak 1999). Hunters interviewed in Viet Nam reported that the species is 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. 2008) and support lower levels of human activity. However, the population in Singapore is in very low quality forest in which they have been able to survive for decades without an obvious decline (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006). Moreover, further research is required into habitat utilization and the ability of this species to persist outside primary forest.

As with other pangolins, this species is primarily 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, but have also been known to dig burrows in soil.

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 three to four months, Challender et al. (2011) witnessed behaviour in captivity concurring with this, three natal dens were used, all associated with hollows in large trees (50 cm DBH) and 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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Trophic Strategy

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

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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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

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 ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

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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

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); sexual ; 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

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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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
CR
Critically Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2d+3d+4d

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2014

Assessor/s
Challender, D., Nguyen Van, T., Shepherd, C., Krishnasamy, K., Wang, A., Lee, B., Panjang, E., Fletcher, L., Heng, S., Seah Han Ming, J., Olsson, A., Nguyen The Truong, A., Nguyen Van, Q. & Chung, Y.

Reviewer/s
Duckworth, J.W.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Critically Endangered A2d+3d+4d due to high levels of hunting and poaching for its meat and scales, which is primarily driven by exports to China, though local consumption and utilisation also take place across the species' range. There have been suspected declines of <80% over the last 21 years (generation length estimated at seven years), and projected continuing declines of >80% over the next 21 years, with the intensity of hunting having moved into the southern parts of the species' range.

History
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/near threatened
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
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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
There is virtually no information available on population levels of any species of Asian pangolin and no comprehensive population estimates. This species is rarely observed, principally because of its increasing rarity, but also because it is secretive, elusive and primarily nocturnal. There is a paucity of research on population densities at local, national and global scales (WCMC et al. 1999, CITES 2000).

This species is now extremely rare in the northern part of its range (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006) where there have been massive declines, especially in Lao PDR (Nooren and Claridge 2001), though populations appear stable in Singapore (B. Lee pers. comm. 2013). Here, Lim and Ng (2007) estimated the range size of one individual, but made no estimate of total population size or density. Recent revision of the national Red List assessment in Singapore lists the species as Critically Endangered (Singapore Red Data Book 2008). It is similarly listed as Endangered in Viet Nam (Viet Nam Red Data Book 2007), 'Rare' in Cambodia (2003) and Vulnerable in Peninsular Malaysia (2012).

In three areas of Viet Nam where interviews were conducted (Khe Net Protected Area, Ke Go Nature Reserve and Song Thanh National Park), 95% of hunters here believed pangolins populations have declined severely, which is a consequence of hunting pressure (Newton et al. 2008). 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. 2008). The rarity of the species was highlighted in more recent research in U Minh Thuong National Park (Nuwer and Bell 2013) and Quang Nam Province (MacMillan and Nguyen 2013).

In a number of reserves in the Cardomom Mountains, Cambodia (the Elephant mountains, Central Cambodian Lowland Forests (Prey Long), Eastern Plains Landscape, Northern Plains and Northeast Cambodia) this species is present but populations are declining. Interviews with hunters suggest the species is absent in some of these areas, which is attributed to hunting (A. Olsson pers. comm. 2013).

In three separate areas within the range of Manis javanica in Lao PDR (Xe Pian, Dong Phou Veng and Khammouan Limestone NBCA), villagers reported in the late 1990's that pangolin populations had declined due to hunting, in some areas to as little as one percent of the level 30 years ago, i.e. since the 1960's (Duckworth et al. 1999; Nooren & Claridge 2001).

This species is present in Peninsular Malaysia, where it has previously been described as common in some areas, at least up until 1999 (Ickes and Thomas 2003). Azhar et al. (2013) report its presence in oil palm plantations in Selangor and Negri Sembilan though it is subject to very heavy hunting pressure here. According to Numata et al. (2005) the species is present in Pasoh Forest Reserve. Based on recent camera trap data, the species is also present in the Kenyir Wildlife Corridor (D.W.S. Challender, pers. comms. 2013). However, interviews with hunters and villagers in 2007 and 2011 indicate populations in Peninsular Malaysia are decreasing as a result of hunting pressure for trade (D.W.S. Challender pers. comm. 2013).

In Sabah, Manis javanica has previously been considered relatively common (Han and Giman pers. comms. 2008 assessment), and though there is little recent data on the species' status here, populations are under pressure from collection for both local use and international trade, which seems to have intensified in recent years based on available evidence, and which could well be having a detrimental impact on population levels (Pantel and Anak 2010). For example, Pantel and Anak (2010) report that >22,000 pangolins were collected for trade in an 18-month period here between 2007 and 2009.

There is no recent data on the status of this species in Myanmar though seizures involving the Sunda pangolin in China in recent years infer that trade originated in Myanmar suggesting populations of this species here are under threat (Challender et al. in prep).

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

Evidence from seizures involving this species attest it is present in some number in Indonesia (Sumatra, Java and Kalimantan). However, the magnitude of international trade originating from Indonesia in the last decade suggests populations here are or could be in severe decline. Stating categorically that this is the case is difficult due to a lack of information on past or present population levels, and commands further research. However, bearing in mind the estimated generation length of seven years, the indiscriminate nature of poaching and the magnitude of seized trade, for example there have been seizures comprising 11, 14 and 17 tonnes between 2000 and 2013, each of which involved several thousand animals and which likely comprises only a fraction of the trade, supports this assertion (Challender 2011).

Although Palawan in the Philippines was previously thought to be a stronghold for this species, here the species has since been re-categorized as the Philippine pangolin.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
The primary threat to Manis javanica is hunting and poaching for international trade, both targeted and untargeted, and which is largely driven by export trade to China, involving live animals, their meat and scales (Challender 2011, Pantel and Chin 2009). Local use also comprises a threat though evidence suggests this is now largely forgone in favour of international trade, given the high monetary value of this species (MacMillan and Nguyen 2013, Newton et al. 2008). In the last decade or so this trade has involved tens of thousands of Sunda pangolins and the species is evidently subject to very heavy collection pressure across much of its range, with the intensity of poaching having moved into the southern part of it's range. The nature of this trade suggests it is illegal and based on available evidence most trade in the last decade was destined for China and Viet Nam, where increasing wealth has seemingly led to an increase in the exploitation of this species in Asia (Challender et al. in prep., Challender and MacMillan 2014). In both China and Viet Nam pangolin meat is consumed as a luxury product and scales are used in traditional medicines in an attempt to cure skin ailments, improve blood circulation and stimulate milk secretion in lactating women, among other ailments including cancer (Ellis 2005, Yue 2009). Modern trade routes are both sophisticated and extensive occurring over land and by sea. Contemporary trade follows a heavy international trade historically and within the time frame of three generations of this species (estimated at 21 years). Based on CITES data between 1975 and 2011 trade in this species included nearly approximately 500,000 animals, which mainly comprised skins which were traded to North America and largely occurred between 1978 and 2000, i.e. before the introduction of CITES export quotas, which prohibit international trade in wild caught specimens of this species for commercial purposes (Broad et al. 1988; Challender et al. in prep.). However, evidence indicates a heavy, unrecorded and therefore likely illicit trade involving live animals and scales also occurred throughout this period (Anon. 1999, Li and Li 1998, CITES 2000, Newton et al. 2008, Wu and Ma 2007). Since 2000, and although the trade in skins appears to have ceased, as above, it now largely involves live animals, meat and scales (Challender 2011, Challender et al. in prep., Sopyan 2009).

In Cambodia, the threat to pangolins from hunting is increasing due to rising prices and loggers are expending more effort hunting pangolins because of less luxurious wood in the forest (A. Olsson pers. comm. 2013). Economic land concessions, dam projects, infrastructure and the clearing of habitat also threaten the species here, as in Lao PDR, Myanmar and other parts of this species' range (A. Olsson pers. comm. 2013). Recent research in Viet Nam suggests pangolins hunted in Cambodia are illegally exported to Viet Nam (D.W.S. Challender pers. comm. 2013).

In Lao PDR, interviews with villagers in the 1990s suggested populations had declined by up to 90% within a decade, i.e. between the 1980s and 1990s, though there is a lack of hard data supporting this (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006). More recently, and since populations in Lao PDR and Thailand have been greatly reduced, much recent trade has originated or being exported from Malaysia and Indonesia and destined for China, based on seizure data (GMA Indonesia Workshop 2006, Challender et al. in prep.). Both Lao PDR and Thailand play a key role as transit countries in regional trade involving live animals (D.W.S. Challender pers. comm. 2013).

Indonesia has been illegally exporting large numbers of live animals as well as meat, especially in the last decade, some of which come from east Kalimantan (G. Semiadi pers. comm. 2006, Sopyan 2009). Targeted hunting is the biggest threat here especially on Sumatra, Kalimantan and Java as evidenced by seizures involving several thousands animals over the last decade (G. Semiadi pers. comm. 2013, Challender 2011, Pantel and Chin 2009).

Malaysia has been experiencing targeted hunting almost exclusively for international trade in meat and scales in recent years and though this includes foreigners, it mostly involves Malaysian nationals. Reported price increases are acting as an incentive to poach and enter the species into national and international trade (Pantel and Anak 2010), which includes poachers coming in from outside (J. Chong pers. comm. 2012) and increasing land conversion for palm oil throughout Malaysia has also created easy road access for poachers. The longevity of palm oil cycles, i.e. removal of old palms and the replanting of new (c. every 12 years), suggests that where this species does persist in these habitats, it is not viable in the long term, though further research on this front is needed.

In Singapore roadkill is probably the biggest threat to this species and though poaching does occur here, it is not thought to be a significant problem.

The population in the southern part of Thailand has crashed because of trade and in the last few years many animals have been confiscated from illegal traders (Challender et al. in prep). This species is hunted by specially trained dogs, which can smell it out, making hunting much more effective and in Lao PDR such pangolin dogs are highly valued (up to USD 2000) (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2006). Deliberate and accidental burning of forests, therefore habitat loss, also, constitutes a secondary threat to the species here.

Every hunter interviewed in Viet Nam (n = 84) reported that they now sell all pangolins that they catch (P. Newton pers. comm. 2008). Prices are so high that local, subsistence use of pangolins for either meat or their scales has completely halted in favour of selling to the national/international trade (P. Newton pers. comm. 2008). 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. 2008). The price per kg of pangolin, paid to hunters (in Viet Nam, at least) has escalated rapidly (at a rate greater than that of annual inflation) since the commercial trade in pangolins began to expand in about 1990 (P. Newton pers. comm. 2008). Prices paid to hunters now exceed US$95 per kg (Viet Nam, P. Newton pers. comm. 2008); US$45 per kg (Newton et al. 2008) and US$17 per kg (Indonesia, D. Martyr pers. comm. to P. Newton). The main threat in Viet Nam remains hunting therefore, including taking pangolins caught as non-target species. This species is in demand in urban centres such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City both for meat, a luxury product, and scales, and which is attributed to increasing affluence following economic reforms in the 20th century.

This species is known to be harvested for international trade in both live animals and scales in Myanmar, as evidenced by seizures in China.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is listed in CITES Appendix II and zero export quotas were established for wild-caught specimens traded for primarily commercial purposes in 2000 (CoP11). It is found in protected areas within its range, but has been hunted out of some, especially in Thailand (Anak pers. comm. c. 2008) and more effective enforcement of existing laws is critical for the conservation of this species. Identification and verification of strongholds where conservation efforts should be concentrated is also crucial. More research into pangolin consumption is also needed urgently with which to inform demand reduction programmes, especially in China.

The Sunda pangolin is listed as a protected species in all range states, with the exception of Brunei Darussalam, where it receives broad protection under the Forestry Act (2002) and Wildlife Protection Act (1981) as well as the Wild Fauna and Flora Order (2007) which implements CITES.

In Singapore, the species is protected under the Wild Animals and Birds Act (1965, amended 2000) and the Wild Animals and Birds (Composition of Offences) Order 2005. It also receives protection here under the Endangered Species Act (Import/Export) Act (2006, amended 2008).

In Viet Nam this species is listed as legally protected in Group IIB of Decree 32 on the Management of Endangered, Precious, and Rare Species of wild Plants and Animals (2006). However, Section 9 of this law enables pangolins seized from illicit trade to be legally sold back into trade. Lack of an appropriate solution for confiscated pangolins continues to be a major problem for enforcement agencies in Viet Nam.

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. It also receives protection under the Government Regulation on Conservation on Flora & Fauna No. 7 (1999).

Manis javanica is a totally protected species in Peninsular Malaysia under the Wildlife Conservation Act (2010) and receives protection under the International Trade in Endangered Species Act (2008). In Sabah it is listed as protected in the Wildlife Conservation Enactment (1997) while it is also listed as protected in Sarawak under Sarawak's Wildlife Protection Ordinance (1998).

In accordance with the Wildlife and Protected Areas Law (1994) M. javanica is listed 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.

In Lao PDR Manis javanica is listed in the 'Prohibition' category of its Wildlife and Aquatic Law (2007) as a rare, near extinct, high value or species of special importance in the development of socio-economic, environmental, educational and scientific research.

In Cambodia this species is listed as rare in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) Declaration 020 and receives protection under the Forestry Law (2002) and Sub-Decree No. 53 on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (2006).

Although not listed as a protected species in China, as a CITES Appendix II listed-species, Manis javanica is considered a State Category II protected species here under regulation including the Protection of Wildlife Act (1989), the Regulations on the Implementation of Protection of Terrestrial Wild Animals (1992), and the Regulations on Management of Import and Export of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora 2006, which implements CITES. Pangolins in China also received further protection in the year 2000, following the promulgation of two judicial interpretations, which defined criteria for punishing crimes involving pangolins specifically. Similarly, a notification issued by national Chinese agencies in 2007 strengthened regulation for species used in traditional medicines, including pangolins, meaning hunting licenses for pangolins are not to be issued and existing stockpiles of pangolin scales are to be subject to verification, certification and subject to trade only through designated outlets such as hospitals.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

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

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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 Challender, D., Nguyen Van, T., Shepherd, C., Krishnasamy, K., Wang, A., Lee, B., Panjang, E., Fletcher, L., Heng, S., Seah Han Ming, J., Olsson, A., Nguyen The Truong, A., Nguyen Van, Q. & Chung, Y. (2014). "Manis javanica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  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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