Red panda sightings getting rarer in Taplejung of lateRed pandas that were often sighted in Pathibhara of Taplejung districts earlier have not been seen of late, which has left conservationists worried.
Red pandas that were often sighted in Pathibhara of Taplejung districts earlier have not been seen of late, which has left conservationists worried.
Pathibhara was identified as the main habitat of red panda, conservationists say.
Pema Sherpa, coordinator of the Red Panda Network, said that the shy mammals have not been spotted of late. We have not found even the traces of their faeces of late, he said.
“People used to inform us about spotting red panda faeces at Phawakhola area earlier. We are yet to conduct a detailed study, but we suspect the mammals may have migrated from Pathivara area,” said Sherpa.
Conservationists believe increased presence of humans and noise pollution could have forced them to leave the area.
“The flow of pilgrims has increased in Pathivara,” said Sherpa. As per the data of Pathivara Development Committee, around 200,000 pilgrims visited Pathivara in recent years. Within last two years, three red pandas were found dead in Pathivara area.
Ramesh Rai, district chairman of Himali Samrakchhan Manch, an organisation working for red panda conservation, said that the mammals left the area also due to the ongoing road expansion drive.
Red pandas used to be seen at Hangdewa, Phurumbu, Linkhim, Pahawakhola and Tirange forests near the district headquarters earlier.
Red pandas are found in the subtropical and temperate forests of Nepal, India, Bhutan, northern Myanmar and southwestern China. An estimated 1,000 red pandas are found in Nepal.
BNP installs early warning system
Kamal Panthi (Bardiya)
The Bardiya National Park (BNP) has installed an early information system in Pattharbojhi to minimise the risks from wild elephant attacks, which have increased in the buffer zone areas of late.
The early warning system detects movements of elephants and sends alerts to inhabitants of the buffer zone villages, said Ramesh Kumar Thapa, acting chief conservation officer of the BNP. “We are currently conducing the trial run of this technology. Sensors have been installed that will send text alerts to mobile phones of the locals as well as sound sirens,” said Thapa. “Once the sensors have picked a movement of elephants and sirens have been sound, the park officials and the Nepal Army soldiers will be mobilised to chase the elephants away.”
The technology, if proved successful, will be used in other areas that have been facing troubles from wild elephants, Thapa added.
Since April, 2016, wild elephants have killed six people at BNP buffer zones. More than 300 houses have been destroyed.