A Preliminary Survey of the Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica Desmarest) from the Terengganu National Park, Terengganu, Malaysia

Summary by Muhammad Hafiz Sulaiman, Wahizatul Afzan Azmi and Chong Ju Lian (contact: julian@umt.edu.my)

The pangolin is a nocturnal, secretive and solitary animal found in Asia and Africa. In Malaysia, the only pangolin species recorded is the Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica Desmarest) or locally known as Tenggiling.

Malayan pangolin (by Bjorn Olesen: http://www.traffic.org/)

The Malayan Pangolin is totally protected by Malaysian and international law yet its population is in decline in Malaysia and globally, due mainly to habitat destruction and extensive illegal hunting. Although the pangolin plays a major role in the forest ecosystem as the main ant and termite predator, and is involved in nutrient cycling, it receives very little scientific attention. Thus, a preliminary survey of the Malayan Pangolin was conducted during a scientific expedition of the Environmental Research Group (ERG) of the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu Special Interest Group (SIG) at the Terengganu National Park, Terengganu, Malaysia from 28 to 30 April 2010 and from 14 to 17 October 2010. The survey aimed to investigate the existence of the Malayan Pangolin in the Terengganu National Park primary forest through the observation of dens and scratch marks left by the pangolin during foraging. This fundamental survey is crucial to garner basic data of the pangolin as not much literature regarding the ecological aspect of the Malayan Pangolin in Malaysia is available. The survey was conducted in a mainland area namely the Gua Bewah and Tanjong Mentong trails during daytime. The survey confirms the existence of the Malayan Pangolin in the virgin forest of Terengganu National Park as demonstrated by the observation of scratch marks left by the Malayan Pangolin.

Key words: Malayan Pangolin, Manis javanica, survey, Terengganu National Park