Urgent measures for protection of species of Indus pangolin stressed

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Director General Pakistan Museum for Natural History (PMNH) Dr Muhammad Rafique has said that urgent measures are required to create awareness about preservation of the endangered species of Indus Pangolin, which is under threat of distinction owing to its precious scaly skin.
He said PMNH was taking several initiatives for sensitizing the people about importance of wildlife and their natural habitat through arranging training programmes.
The wildlife of Pakistan comprising of a diverse flora and fauna in a wide range of habitats from sea level to high elevation areas in the mountains which needs to be protected for maintaining a healthy ecological balance on the Earth.
The major reasons of extinction of Indus Pangolin (Manis Crassicaudata) in Pakistan is rapid loss and deterioration of natural habitat due to cutting of forests as well as illegal hunting for using its scales in traditional Chinese medicines and crude bulletproof jackets.
He said it was very unfortunate that the creature like Indus Pangolin were fallen prey to the poachers for smuggling purpose due to the demand and value of their beautiful shiny and scaly skin.
“Beauty of Pangolin has become their enemies”, he lamented.
The DG said that although law exists in the country to prevent illegal poaching and smuggling of such animals, but lack adherence. “Our young generation can play a vital role in conservation of wildlife if we inculcate love and affection towards wildlife in them from the very beginning”, he added.
According to the experts, Pangolin population, owing to several threats, has moved to the less irrigated muddy areas of Koh-e-Sulaiman in western Sindh, bordering Balochistan and only five percent of Pakistan’s pangolin population now remained in Sindh, with the rest in Punjab and Kashmir.
He was of the view that there was lack of research about the exact number of existing Pangolins across the world and “we need to engage national and international unions of conservation of nature for protection of this amazing species of mammals”.
Preservation of such animals will not only help maintain the natural balance of the earth but also the beauty of this land, boosting more tourism opportunities, Dr Muhammad Rafique said while urging the authorities to ensure strict implementation of the laws for prevention of endangered species of animals.—INP

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