The Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla)is a “Critically Endangered” insectivorous mammal speculated to be scarcely distributed in foothills of eastern and central Himalayas of Nepal. Given the critically endangered status of M. pentadactyla, it is rather surprising that there is a serious lack of information on various aspects of their ecology and genetics. For an elusive species such as M. pentadactyla, estimatingtheir population size, geographic distribution and other aspects of their ecology by direct observation is not practically feasible. In such situation,the use of non-invasive molecular techniques would be a rational choice. The overarching purpose of this project is to collect base-line scientific data onpopulation status, geographic distribution and genetic diversity of M.pentadactyla in Nepal employing non-invasive molecular techniques. The results generated and knowledge gained by the proposed project will facilitate efforts by the Government of Nepal to develop and implement effective conservation and management programs for Chinese pangolins in Nepal.
Funding Agencies: UniversityGrant Commission of Nepal
Research Team: Dr. Sanjay Nath Khanal (PI), Mr.Sandeep Shrestha (Co-PI), Mrs. Aashna Dhakal (Co-PI) and Mr. Ashish Bashyal(Co-PI).
Collaborators: Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering and Department of Biotechnology at the Kathmandu University; University of Rhode Island