Pangolin Conservation Project Breeds Hope in Madhya Pradesh

Pangolin Conservation Project Breeds Hope in Madhya Pradesh

The pangolin conservation initiative, launched in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Trust in Mumbai, has achieved success at Pench Tiger Reserve and Satpura Tiger Reserve. Recent observations indicate that the pangolins in these reserves have begun breeding, marking a positive outcome for the project.

This conservation effort aims to protect and rehabilitate pangolins, with ongoing endeavors to replicate this success in other regions of Madhya Pradesh. A comprehensive study initiated in 2019 at Pench Tiger Reserve and Satpura Tiger Reserve is currently underway, focusing on understanding the behavior and survival skills of the endangered pangolin species.

Notable sightings include three pangolins at Satpura Tiger Reserve and eight at Pench Tiger Reserve. A particularly encouraging incident involved the spotting of a pangolin with its offspring at Pench Tiger Reserve. L. Krishnamurthy, the director of Satpura Tiger Reserve, highlighted that the study’s findings will contribute valuable insights into identifying suitable habitats for pangolins.

The plan involves releasing pangolins into areas conducive to their well-being. While an exact pangolin population estimate is currently unavailable, the reserves, especially Satpura Tiger Reserve, show a promising presence of these mammals. The comprehensive study is expected to take a few more years to reach conclusions.

Pangolins are commonly found in regions between rivers and agricultural fields, and near trees bearing sweet fruits like mahua. Aditya Joshi, a scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Trust in Mumbai, mentioned that pangolins rescued from poachers and other locations are rehabilitated in Pench and Satpura Tiger Reserves, with the heartening development of successful breeding.

Acknowledging the success, a senior official from Pench Tiger Reserve praised the commendable efforts of the Special Task Force in combating pangolin smuggling. Over the period from 2015 to 2020, approximately 500 individuals from 14 states, including Madhya Pradesh, were arrested, leading to the dismantling of the entire poaching network. The latest arrest involved a woman from Myanmar residing in Mizoram, considered the final link in the poaching chain. The pangolin body parts seized in these operations are believed to be used in the production of aphrodisiacs.