The Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) found in Pakistan is threatened by the rampant trade of the species, and has been listed as endangered since 2014 and also included in Appendix-I of CITES. The IUCN estimates indicate a decrease of ≥ 50% in the global Indian pangolin population over the next 21 years, highlighting the need for protecting the species against illegal trade. In the current study, we investigated the scale of its poaching and illegal trade in the country. Results revealed that poachers use spotlight and tracking techniques (42% respondents). Summer is the best season for poaching the pangolins (44% respondents). Forest is best preferred habitat of pangolin (54% respondents) and pangolins selling and buying points are located outside the villages (63% respondents). Nomads, semi-settled people at different locations in the Potohar Plateau are actively involved in pangolin trade and poaching. Approximately 275 pangolins were poached at 46 different locations during 2013-2018, with the highest number of killings recorded from Chakwal District (131 pangolins at 14 sites). The pangolin dealers operating in major cities of Pakistan (Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi) prefer pangolin scales. A total of 239 shops and street vendors were trading many wildlife species including CITES listed species in the market illegally in addition to pangolins. Karachi and Lahore had highest number of shops dealing with illegal wildlife trade.
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