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Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. Since 1998 with origins from OneList.


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Tue 18 Jan 2005

Seen a pangolin lately?

Category : nature

In the past, we have collected roadkills or received reports of Pangolins as a result of the help by members of the public. Read about the Adam Road roadkill, 13 Jan 1999 and the Jalan Bahar roadkill, 09 Nov 2001 (see photo below) in the Habitatnews newsletter. Or the heart-wrenching email that was circulated in nature circles by Paul Chan on 6th October 2003 (I actually tried to forget that post). Much happier news was the new Paper report of the Ang Mo Kio encounter, 21 Sep 2004.

The Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica), is a toothless, scale-covered, insect eating mammal, also known as the Scaly Anteater (Family Pholidota). It is an uncommon mammal, listed in the Singapore Red Data Book, and is found in the Central and Western Catchment areas and elsewhere in scrubland. Termites are part of its diet, and it has strong claws which can dig into the hardened mounds.

Internationally, there is severe pressure from hunting and trade in Southeast Asia as there is demand for nearly all its body parts. Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy by some communities in Asia, and the skin produces distinctively patterned leather for fashioning shoes, handbags and other accessories that appeal to consumers with a flair for the exotic - see the TRAFFIC webpage.

Norman Lim is a postgraduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, who is working on the ecology of wild pangolins for his Masters thesis. If you see any roadkills or live pangolins, please inform him as soon as possible, either via his mobile (9838-3291) or his email (g0403021@nus.edu.sg). Any information will be valuable and much appreciated, as this species is seldom encountered in the wild. And if its alive, it'll be a good way for the pangolin get safely back into the wild!

Posted at 1:11PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | email | Raffles Museum news