There is nothing that looks quite like a pangolin. It is the only mammal in the world that comes covered with scales. Often dubbed the “scaly anteater”, pangolins sometimes get mistaken for reptiles due to their scaly bodies and prehistoric-looking features.

The name ‘Pangolin’ is derived from the word “Pen-Gulling” meaning, “roller” in Malay. True to its moniker, the pangolin rolls itself up into a tight ball in times of danger. It uses its scales to to protect its soft, vulnerable underbelly from predators.

There are 8 species of pangolins in the world- 4 can be found in Asia, while the rest are found in sub-Saharan Africa. They thrive in a wide variety of habitats including forests, grasslands, woodlands, plains and savannahs, where ants or termites are abundant and water is readily available. They are not found at high altitudes.

An officer holds up parts of a dead pangolin

Today, pangolins have experienced a great decline in their wild populations and are facing a very real threat of extinction due to the illegal wildlife trade, poaching and habitat loss.

Through this blog, I hope you will find out more about pangolins and grow to love them as I do. As this is a blog on the conservation of pangolins in South East Asia, most of the information you will find here is focused on the current pangolin population in Asia.

There is a special day dedicated to the pangolins, known as World Pangolin Day, which falls on February 18. This day is set aside to promote the pangolins and raise awareness for their plight. Do mark it down in your calendar and join in when it next rolls around!

Note: A list of references for the information used in this blog is available on the reference page. Photo credits are available by hovering mouse over images.

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