Pangolins in eastern Nepal: trade and ethno-medicinal importance

Main Article Content

Hem Bahadur Katuwal
Kaustuv Raj Neupane
Dipendra Adhikari
Mohan Sharma
Sanjan Thapa

Abstract

Pangolin populations are declining globally due to illicit trade for meat and ethno-medicinal practices. We performed semi-structured interviews to analyze scenario of trade activities and documented the ethno-medicinal importance of pangolins in four districts of eastern Nepal. Out of 106 respondents, 78.3% had seen live pangolins, 90.6% had seen their burrows and 66% respondents speculated their decreasing population. Although 64% of the respondents were aware that pangolin is protected species, 44% of respondents had eaten its meat. We found the trade as an organized network where poachers of one village supply pangolins and its parts to poachers of another village and so on until it reaches the international border. Trade flow was more across the Chinese border via different routes where the prices varied from US$ 500–625/kg or even more. For this illegal trade, poachers provoke unemployed youths especially from ethnic communities. Most people hunt pangolins merely for trade without knowing its exact medicinal value. Some people, however, use meat and scales to supposedly cure gastro-intestinal disease, skin disease, cardiac problem, pregnancy pains, back pain; and also for making rings, bags, jackets, purses and musical instruments. As most pangolin habitats lie outside protected areas, illicit trade is increasing rapidly. We recommend immediate strategic plans, effective monitoring techniques and inter-border cooperation to thwart the trade, and raise awareness of their importance. 

 

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Katuwal, H.B., Neupane, K.R., Adhikari, D., Sharma, M. and Thapa, S. 2015. Pangolins in eastern Nepal: trade and ethno-medicinal importance. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 7, 9 (Jul. 2015), 7563–7567. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o4202.7563-7.
Section
Short Communications

References

Baillie, J., D. Challender, P. Kaspal, A. Khatiwada, R. Mohapatra & H. Nash (2014). Manis crassicaudata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1.. Downloaded on 16 June 2015.

Boakye, M.K., D.W. Pietersen, A. Kotzé, D.L. Dalton & R. Jansen (2014). Ethnomedicinal use of African pangolins by traditional medical practitioners in Sierra Leone. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 10: 76–86.

Boakye, M.K., D.W. Pietersen, A. Kotzé, D.L. Dalton & R. Jansen (2015). Knowledge and uses of African Pangolins as a source of traditional medicine in Ghana. PLoS ONE 10(1): e0117199; http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/ journal.pone.0117199

Challender, D.W.S., J.E.M. Baillie, C. Waterman & the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group (2012). Catalyzing conservation action and raising the profile of pangolins - the IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group (PangolinSG). Asian Journal of Conservation Biology 1(2): 140 –141

Challender, D., J. Baillie, G. Ades, P. Kaspal, B. Chan, A. Khatiwada, L. Xu, S. Chin, R. KC, H. Nash & H. Hsieh (2014). Manis pentadactyla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.1.. Downloaded on 16 June 2015.

Challender, D.W.S., S.R. Harrop & D.C. MacMillan (2015a). Understanding markets to conserve trade-threatened species in CITES. Biological Conservation 187: 249–259.

Challender, D.W.S., S.R. Harrop & D.C. MacMillan (2015b). Towards informed and multi-faceted wildlife trade interventions. Global Ecology and Conservation 3: 129–148.

Chin, S.Y. & S. Pantel (2009). Pangolin capture and trade in Malaysia. Proceedings of the workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia, 30 June – 2 July 2008, Singapore Zoo, 144–162.

CITES (2000). Prop. 11.13. Manis crassicaudata, Manis pentadactyla, Manis javanica. Transfer from Appendix II to Appendix I (India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, United States). Available at: http://www.cites.org/eng/cop/11/prop/13.pdf.

Corlett, R.T. (2007). The impact of hunting on the mammalian fauna of Tropical Asian Forests. Biotropica 39(3): 292–303.

Jnawali, S.R., H.S. Baral, S. Lee, N. Subedi, K.P. Acharya, G.P.

Upadhyay, M. Pandey, R. Shrestha, D. Joshi, B.R. Lamichhane, J. Griffiths, A. Khatiwada & R. Amin (compilers) (2011). The Status of Nepal’s Mammals: The National Red List Series. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Newton, P., N.V. Thai, S. Roberton & D. Bell (2008). Pangolins in peril: using local hunters’ knowledge to conserve elusive species in Vietnam. Endangered Species Research 6: 41–53.

Nooren, H. & G. Claridge (2001). Wildlife trade in Laos: end of the game. Netherland Committee for IUCN, Amsterdam.

Semiadi, G., D. Darnaedi & A.J. Arief (2009). Sunda Pangolin Manis javanica conservation in Indonesia: status and problems. Proceedings of the workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia, 30 June – 2 July 2008, Singapore Zoo, 12–17pp.

Shepherd, C.R. (2009). Overview of pangolin trade in Southeast Asia. Proceedings of the workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia, 30 June – 2 July 2008, Singapore Zoo, 6–9pp.

Suwal, T.L. (2011). Status, distribution, behaviour and conservation of pangolins in private and community forest of Balthali in Kavre, Nepal. M.Sc. Thesis. Central Department of Zoology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.

Yongping, G. (2009). Pangolin trafficking-related crimes in China. Proceedings of the Workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia, 30 June – 2 July 2008, Singapore Zoo, 75–79pp.

Yue, Z. (2009). Conservation and trade control of pangolins in China. Proceedings of the workshop on trade and conservation of pangolins native to South and Southeast Asia, 30 June – 2 July 2008, Singapore Zoo, 66–74pp.

Most read articles by the same author(s)