Last Updated on
In line with the celebration of ninth “World Pangolin Day” this 2020, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and other non-government organizations enjoin everyone to protect the Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis), the scaly mammals locally known as Balintong.
The celebration is a support for a global attempt to raise awareness about pangolins and for collaborative efforts of all stakeholders in protecting the said vulnerable and most trafficked mammal in the world.
The eight species of the scaly anteater can be found in Asia and Africa. In Asia, the four species can be found in the Philippines, India, China, Malaysia, as well as in other countries in Southeast Asia like in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Borneo, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Laos, and Singapore. The four species in Africa are White-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis), Giant Ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea), Black-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tetradactyla), and Temminck’s Ground pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) while in Asia, the four species are the Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis), Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) and the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla).
According to World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)’s data, out of the eight species, two of them are listed as Critically Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species of which, one of these is the Philippine pangolin. This means that, the species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction.
In the Philippines, Balintong thrive only in the province of Palawan and like the other species, they are solitary and primarily nocturnal animals and feed on termites and ants, and thus, they play an important ‘ecological role.’
And with the hashtags “Palawan Para Sa Pangolin,” “Better Wild and Alive,” “World Pangolin Day,” PCSD started the celebration since last week by holding school-to-school campaigns and mall exhibits around the province “to raise awareness on the plight of pangolin and encourage people to help save our scaly mammal friend.”
“Wildlife enthusiasts around the world are celebrating the World Pangolin Day—a day to ignite conversations on saving the pangolin, the world’s most trafficked mammal,” the PCSD says.
The Council thru their social media page, reminded everyone that like most wildlife animals, the pangolins do not do well in captivity and may live only for a maximum of half a year.
“When pangolins are captured for their scales and meat, some of them had to endure slow and painful death.”
PCSD appeals to all Palawenos and Filipinos alike to help them save the pangolins, “the harmless and shy guardians of the forest.”
“There are eight species of pangolin, distributed in Asia and Africa, and all of them are in danger of getting extinct in the wild. Reports show that Asian pangolins, such as the Philippine pangolin, are vanishing more rapidly compared to the African pangolins,” PCSD explained.