Conserving one of the most illegally poached animal Pangolin, remains a major challenge for conservationists today. Due to their dwindling habitat, illegal trade and lack of awareness in the local community have caused a significant decline in the species’ population. Among the 8 types of Pangolin species found in the world, two types of pangolins are found in Nepal. Despite the fact that the law has strictly prohibited its trade, poaching is still prevalent, causing the species to be critically endangered throughout the globe. Superstitious beliefs about consuming the mammal’s body parts for medicinal purposes plays a huge role in its killing and poaching. It is therefore necessary to spread awareness to the mass public for its conservation. Hence, World Pangolin Day is celebrated each third Saturday of February to spread public awareness about the species and its role in the ecosystem.
Since 2016, Small Mammals Conservation and Research Foundation (SMCRF) has been actively celebrating World Pangolin Day through different events and activities. This year, the organization celebrated the 9th World Pangolin Day on 15th February, 2020 in Chandragiri, a prominent habitat site of pangolins in Kathmandu. With the objective to maintain a clean habitat for pangolins, a clean-up campaign was conducted in Laglage Paakha Community Forest, Ward No. 3 of Chandragiri Municipality. Around 150 participants from different organizations, universities, government agencies, and local residents actively participated in the cleaning of the forest trail. The event also inaugurated a segregated waste bin and visitor’s informational board about the Pangolin, that was done by the Community Forest President and Ward Office Member. Furthermore, the yearly research scholarship provided by the organization was awarded this year to Ms. Jyoti Aryal (Golden Gate International College) and Ms. Sujita Dhakal (Institute of Forestry, Pokhara Campus) for their research in Pangolin and Otter respectively.
We are thankful to Chandragiri Municipality, European Outdoor Conservation Association, WWF Nepal, IUCN, ZSL-Nepal, Community Forests Groups of Chandragiri and all the participants who helped in successfully completing the WPD 2020.