Prakash Thapa, Ambika Prasad Khatiwada, Sushila C. Nepali, Shambhu Paudel
American Journal of Zoological Research. 2014, 2(1), 16-21DOI:
Abstract: Chinese Pangolins are least studied burrowing mammals. There is great role of this species in nature to maintain ecological balance. Due to illegal trade and habitat destruction, Chinese Pangolins are in great risk of extinction although being protected by national as well as international laws. This research was carried out to find out the distribution, habitat utilization, social belief and conservation status of Chinese Pangolins in Nangkholyang VDC of Taplejung district, Eastern Nepal. This study was done with direct field observation followed by direct observation along the tracks and random search, group discussion, key informant survey and questionnaire survey. This study showed the presence of indirect signs of Chinese Pangolins such as 211 burrows (including 16 new and 195 old), scats, foot prints and trace of tail in Nangkholyang VDC, Taplejung. The distribution of Pangolins was found in all wards (political unit of village) with highest number of burrows in southwest aspect and least in north. The burrows were found in the elevation from 1126 m to 2406 m. The habitat utilized by Chinese Pangolins was found to be forest and agricultural land. In the forest, the maximum numbers of burrows were located at the crown cover of 0-25%. Pangolins were taken as the sign of bad luck but due to profit motive people were hunting this mammal. The Conservation status of Pangolins in the study area was found to be worse. Hunting for illegal trade was the major threat and the current price of Pangolin scales in village level was found to be Rs. 26,000 per kg.