• Rose Dela Cruz

February 19 is World Pangolin Day

Today, I'm excited to share that February 19 is World Pangolin Day!

In the world, there are eight known species of pangolins. They can be found in Asia and Africa, particularly in tropical rainforests or grassy savannahs, where their diet consists of termites and ants. Pangolins are shy; when they are feeling distressed or sense a predator nearby, they curl up into a tight ball, protected by their tough scales. These scales are made of keratin, a type of protein that can also be found in our nails and hair!


Unfortunately, there are people who are misled to believe that pangolin scales have medicinal properties. This has already been debunked by scientists; however, pangolins are still being poached at a large scale, and even being served as delicacies in certain parts of Asia and Africa. I believe that animals are important in the ecosystem and that they help maintain its balance. Pangolins have a vital role as well - by burrowing for food, they help control pest populations. According to Save Pangolins.org, an adult pangolin can consume about 70 million insects per year!


According to a passage in a book called "Pangolins: Science, Society and Conservation" (featured in Science Direct), by this digging process pangolins also help maintain soil health by exposing it to oxygen (called "aeration") and regulate organic matter. Although indirectly, these are huge benefits that we receive -- and for free! For more information on how you can help save our gentle, scaly friends, visit Save Pangolins.org! Let's help save the pangolins! Much love, Rose


Sources:

Why the Little Known Pangolin is so Critical to Our Ecosystem (nikela.org)

About Pangolins - Save Pangolins

The role of pangolins in ecosystems - ScienceDirect


For further reading:

Pangolins: Science, Society and Conservation. Academic Press, an imprint of Elsevier (2020)