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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Chinese Pangolin

Family : Manidae
Species : Manis pentadactyla

Head-body length : Up to 58 cm
Tail length : Up to 38 cm
Weight : up to 5 kg ?

The Chinese Pangolin is categorised by IUCN as Critically Endangered: its numbers are in steep decline as a result of relentless hunting pressure for its meat and for its scales, which are used in traditional medicine.

This species, which occurs in the north of the region, is smaller-bodied than the closely-related, and more widespread, Sunda Pangolin Manis javanica, which occurs in the south. Compared with Manis javanica, it has longer ears, longer front claws and a shorter, less flexible tail. The scales on top of its head do not extend fully to its nostrils.

The Chinese Pangolin occurs in a wide range of forest types (primary, secondary, bamboo) as well as grasslands and agricultural areas. It feeds on small invertebrates such as ants, and particularly termites. It is both terrestrial and arboreal, and is mainly active at night. By day it typically rests in the cool of its burrow, which they are able to excavate themselves.

This species occurs in northern parts of the Indian subcontinent (including northern India, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh), parts of northern Myanmar, northern Indochina (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam), and parts of southern China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan). Its present range is probably much reduced, as a result of relentless hunting pressure.

Figs 1 to 3 : Examples from Hong Kong, in lowland secondary forest.  Photos thanks to Gary Ades (Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden).

References : M1


Links :

Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, Hong Kong



Fig 1
ゥ  Gary Ades, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden
Fig 2
ゥ  Gary Ades, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden
Fig 3
ゥ  Gary Ades, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden