By: Muhammad Hafiz Sulaiman
A pangolin or locally known as “Tenggiling’ is an armadillo-like animal. Its appearance is more reptilian than mammalian due to the scales covering almost its entire body. Worldwide, there are only eight extant pangolin species which roam two continents namely Africa and Asia. In Malaysia, only the Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica) could be found. As of today, these unique animals are illegally traded on the black market in large numbers. Since 2008, this species has been classified as endangered and it took 6 years to change its status to critically endangered in 2014. Despite their gloomy future, this animal is still overlooked and many aspects of them are still waiting to be discovered. The following is an excerpt from the Dan Challender’s speech (Pangolin researcher and Co-Chair of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group):
“Although tens of thousands of illegally traded pangolins are seized each year, some of the biggest problems facing conservationists is a lack of data about this illegal trade, its routes, its sources, and even about the animals themselves”.
As such, this survey was conducted. The respondents of the survey are villagers from the proposed Geopark Tasik Kenyir who were interviewed regarding the Malayan Pangolin’s ecological aspects, regulations and conservation efforts. The researchers involved were Dr. Chong Ju Lian, Nor Faridah bt Mohd Shafie and Muhammad Hafiz Bin Sulaiman.