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A poem about Palawan pangolin (Manis culionensis)

By Crizalde A. UmaliPublished 3 months ago 4 min read

In Palawan's lair, a creature so rare,

The pangolin strut, with dignity and flair.

A guardian of nature, silently it roams,

In forested realms, it finds its home


Its armor scales, a work of art,

Protecting its body and every part,

A living testament to nature's grace,

In the heart of Eden, they find their place.

With steady pace, they scour the wilderness,

For tiny ants and termites, they devour with fondness.

Insects that may harm the forest if they are bounteous,

And pangolin's appetite keep the balance so momentous.

In this dance of life, they play their part,

A web of existence, a work of art.

But shadows loom, a threat unknown,

For pangolins face dangers of their own.

They are discriminately hunted, for medicine and more,

Numbers suffer greatly, because of that false lore,

A misguided belief in powers untold,

Endangers pangolins, their story unfolds.

Let's raise our voice, let's make it clear,

The pangolin's plight, we all should hear.

For in their continuance, our own is tied,

In Palawan's paradise, they must survive.

Let's protect their home, preserve the land,

And stop the trade that's out of hand.

For in the pangolin's struggle, we must unite,

To keep this Palawan’s treasure, in nature's light.


Palawan Pangolin or Philippine Pangolin

(Manis culionensis) de Elera 1915

Local Name : Halintong, Balintong, Malintong, Panggolin, Tanggiling, Beleku, Palawan or Philippine Scaly Ant-eater

Description : A mammal with reptile-like appearance, overall all length at 26 inches to 30 inches including its 10 inches tail, body covered by broad, overlapping horny scales forming an armor on the dorsal surface of neck and body and all over tail, but none on belly, chin, sides of face and on inner sides of limbs, these parts covered sparsely with fine stiff hairs, thickest especially about the ears; nose hairless, mouth very small, especially in relation with upper jaw, extending much beyond the lower jaw. Head conical, covered with small scales forming a triangular area. On side of head very small eyes and ears in elongated grooves, with ears very close behind eyes with rounded and raised skin fold about each. No teeth. Tail long, broad, and the upperparts covered with three rows of scales very slightly keeled, the median scale row the largest; along the side of tail with a single row of folded scales each one strongly keeled, thus forming side of tail. Forelegs short with five digits one each foot, claws of varying size; middle finger with largest claw; claws of outer digits much shorter about 1/3 or even less of middle claw; claws on toes shorter, the median toe being the longest, and adjoining toes both inner and outer definitely shorter. General color dirty pale yellowish white; scales translucent.

The Philippine Pangolin or Scaly Ant-eater is usually found inside dense vegetation patches or in remaining forest patches found close to cogonal grasslands. It is more active at night than during the daytime. It depends more on its sense of smell than on its sight. It is a burrowing animal that feeds mostly on termites through small holes it makes in termite nests, just big enough for the animal to enter with its large digging claws. It has a long extensible, sticky tongue very useful in catching the termites. It usually extends it to go inside crevices of the termite nest that it has broken down with its claws. It prefers to feed on termites living inside the arboreal nests, considering that it is easier for it to break into. Once in a while, it also attempts to dig the basal portion of a termite mound. Once it has made a hole at the base and has reached the pulpy nest, it is easy for it to break into it and consume the termites living inside the nest. It may even consume some true stinging ants including the red and black ones. The horny pad at the end of its powerful tail greatly aids the animal in climbing and in hanging on the branches of trees. It is not rare to see an animal hanging by its tail and appearing as though asleep. The animal exudes a very peculiar odor. The Philippine Pangolin is endemic and found only in Palawan, Culion and Busuanga Outside the Philippines, other related species are found throughout the Malay Peninsula, to Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and on mainland Asia to the northeast, reaching northern Thailand, Laos and China. Scales of Philippine Pangolin are used for fancy articles and use as traditional medicine in some countries more particularly in China. The meat is eaten by people living in the islands where they are found. Important factor in controlling termite infestations where they are found. Philippine Pangolin is near threatened and its population is fast diminishing due to over hunting for its meat and scale and habitat loss. Philippine Wildlife Protection Law prohibit hunting, collecting this animal.

nature poetry

About the Creator

Crizalde A. Umali

I'm a multifaceted individual, balancing a professional career as an architect with a profound zest for painting, writing and nature research. For me writing is my canvas for narratives. Join me on a fun journey where words and arts concur.

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