Pangolins are solitary, shy, slow moving, nocturnal mammals that are protected under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
On Sunday, a joint team of Odisha Forest along with Wildlife Crime Control Bureau aka WCCB df Jabalpur seized more than 14.2 kg of Pangolin scales from two individuals in Dhenkanal district. This seizure was the biggest-ever of Pangolin scales in the state.
Prakash Chand Gogineni, Dhenkanal divisional forest officer (DFO), said that the scales were seized in the Damodarnali area, Kapilash range in Dhenkanal district; they followed an intelligence input from WCCB. He said that Ratnakar Rout (51) and Firoj Khan (52), from Dhenkanal, stored the pangolin scales at a go-down in Banasinga area, Sarangi range.
He said that they collected scales from poachers in Dhenkanal and surrounding regions, but couldn’t sell it during the pandemic. The DFO’s team posed there as customers, struck a deal with them and then finally arrested them. Their joint team captured a two-wheeler & two mobile phones from the smugglers’ possession.
Last month too, the special task force of the crime investigation department captured 4.82 kgs of pangolin scales from a village in Mayurbhanj. During the past year, the STF seized 3 live pangolins and 10 kg pangolin scales.
Pangolins are solitary, shy, slow moving, nocturnal mammals that are protected under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. It is also listed under the Appendix I of the CITES that prohibits the commercial trade of it.
According to IUCN Pangolin Specialist Group, poaching for illegal international trade for meat & scales, (mostly for Asia, primarily in China and Vietnam), are prominent threats to Pangolins, hence, a decline can be seen in populations of these species.