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How does the Chinese Pangolin behave in the wild - observations on activities of Chinese Pangolin, Manis pentadactyla in the agro ecosystems of Darjeeling, Eastern Himalaya, India


Biodiversity International Journal
Sunita Pradhan,1 Roshan Pradhan1,2

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Abstract

Information on the behavioral activities of the critically endangered Chinese Pangolin, Manispentadactyla is scarce with most of the existing information on activities and life history coming from captive studies on the species. M. pentadactyla is severely threatened by illegal trade and habitat loss. Knowledge of its ecology and behavioral activities in the wild is imperative as a scientific basis for their conservation both in captivity and in the wild. This study was focused on better understanding activities and burrow use habits of M. pentadactyla in the wild. Purposely targeted deployment of camera traps in high pangolin use areas was done to video record activities of the species from December 2016 to April 2017. Findings include three significant M. pentadactyla behavioral activities which were that of collecting plant materials for their burrow, adult-offspring interactions and co-use of burrow by Malayan porcupine, Hystrix brachyura and M. pentadactyla. These behavioral findings contribute to building on the existing knowledge of M. pentadactyla in the wild, essential for pangolin husbandry in captivity and enhance species survival. The presence of breeding population of M. pentadactyla in the agroecosystems, draws attention to conservation management in the socio-ecological production landscapes, where wildlife, like M.pentadactyla afford inadequate legal attention. Human-wildlife interface events are also higher in these landscapes, some of which are threatening species survival and persistence.

Keywords

behavioral activities, wild, camera trap, socioecological production landscapes, Eastern Himalaya

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