Project

Restoring the habitat of the Red Panda in Nepal

Classified as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the red panda is even more severely threatened with extinction than the famous giant panda. There are believed to be fewer than 10,000 left in the wild, and their population continues to decline.

 

Not so peaceful forests anymore

The mountain forests of the Himalayas where the red panda lives are being destroyed by agriculture, forestry, and road construction, reducing and fragmenting its habitat. The eastern part of Nepal, bordering India, harbors a strategic area for the red panda as it connects protected and unprotected habitats. This area is called the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung region. This region is currently heavily degraded by human activities. The project, supported by the Pairi Daiza Foundation in collaboration with the Red Panda Network, involves restoring approximately 90 hectares of land in this area to create a habitat corridor for red pandas and other wildlife species sharing the same habitat. This area is particularly important for the red panda as it hosts 25% of the Nepalese population of the species.

Bamboo, its primary food source

The diet of the red panda consists of 95% bamboo. The life cycle of these plants ends with a mass flowering followed by decline. Bamboo does not easily recover in disturbed areas and becomes difficult to find in fragmented forests. This restoration project involves planting trees, installing fences, and collaborating with local communities to protect the restored areas. A local community group is responsible for the management and restoration work, as well as for monitoring the red pandas.

 

A treasure of biodiversity

By protecting the red panda, the Foundation is also working to conserve the clouded leopard, the Asian golden cat, the marbled cat, the Bengal tiger, the pangolin, the spotted linsang (locally threatened), and even the Himalayan black bear, all of which inhabit this part of the world.

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