Oral presentation- Open Session 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Participatory conservation of the Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) in coastal Maharashtra, India (#78)

Vishwas Katdare 1
  1. Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, Chiplun, Maharashtra, India

Hunting of the Indian pangolin is a known traditional practice in coastal Maharashtra. It would be done by a few skilled communities for their own consumption; it was a form of subsistence hunting. Pangolin meat would be consumed and the scales would be discarded, not sold. However, over the last few years, hunting for the wildlife trade has replaced subsistence hunting. In the last two years, four illegal consignments of Indian pangolin hunted in coastal Maharashtra have been confiscated by enforcement agencies. Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra initiated a participatory conservation effort in January 2016 to counter the rapidly decline of the Indian pangolin in coastal Maharashtra. One of the prerequisites of such a conservation initiative is sound understanding of the focal species. In this context Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra conducted a pilot social survey in 165 villages in Chiplun block of Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra state. In this survey, data were collected on the presence of the Indian pangolin in the recent period. Based on this information, a camera trap study has been conducted at 200 locations. In this paper our conservation efforts are described. World over there are very few systematic studies on pangolins. A naturally low population and the secretive, nocturnal nature of pangolins are often cited as the reasons for the lowly studied status. In this paper, our efforts for participatory conservation of Indian pangolin and subsequent learning are discussed.