World Red Panda Day: Conservationists demand more action from governmentConservationists say that they have been facing challenges to conserve red panda population as the government has not taken major steps to protect these endangered mammals.
Conservationists say that they have been facing challenges to conserve red panda population as the government has not taken major steps to protect these endangered mammals.
Red pandas are found in 23 hill and mountain districts of the country. According to the Red Panda Network, Panchthar, Ilam and Taplejung are the major red panda habitats, where 25 per cent of the country’s red pandas are found.
Pema Sherpa, programme officer of the network, said the red panda numbers are decreasing due to unsustainable construction of roads through red panda habitat, deforestation, forest fire, poaching, excessive grazing and attack from the predators along with loss of major food.
Red panda population in Nepal is estimated to be somewhere around 500 and fewer than 10,000 in the world.
Conservationists say without strong protection measures from the government side, achieving growth in red panda population will be difficult.
Ramesh Rai of Himali Samrakshyan Manch said to protect red panda population they were trying to prohibit dogs from entering red panda habitats in Panchthar, Ilam and Taplejung.
“We have also been conducting vasectomy to dogs in a bid to protect the endangered red pandas from being attacked,” said Rai.
Conservationists also expressed their concern over parasitic infections found among red pandas during a recent study.
Red Pandas, known as Habre in Nepali, are mostly found in the temperate forests with abundance of bamboo in Nepal, India, Bhutan, northern Myanmar and southwestern China. There are fewer than 10,000 red pandas in the world, say conservationists.