Ilam sets up red panda breeding centreSandakpur Rural Municipality in Ilam district has set up a red panda breeding centre in Tappu area at ward no 1, 2 and 3 for the panda’s conservation.
Sandakpur Rural Municipality in Ilam district has set up a red panda breeding centre in Tappu area at ward no 1, 2 and 3 for the panda’s conservation. The local unit said the breeding centre was established to protect red pandas from stray dogs as well as other wild animals and create a suitable place for their reproduction.
The rural municipality allocated Rs 1 million in the current fiscal year to set up the breeding centre that is spread in about two hectares of forest land. The municipality is taking measures to keep other animals out of the area to create an environment for red panda reproduction and conservation.
Giriraj Khanal, a spokesperson at the rural municipality, said the local unit initiated this step to boost the population of red pandas. “The Nepal Army has also expressed their interest to help the rural municipality in the conservation of red panda,” Khanal said.
Along with the conservation of red panda, the rural municipality also aims to promote tourism in the area. “We will carry out development activities without affecting red panda conservation,” said Udaya Rai, the chief of the rural municipality.
Red panda, known as Habre in Nepali, is one of the rare animal species found in temperate forests of Nepal, India, Bhutan, northern Myanmar and southwestern China. The estimated number of red panda is less than 10,000 in the world.
According to conservationists, red panda conservation is challenging in the country due to the haphazard construction of roads through red panda habitat, deforestation, forest fire, poaching, excessive grazing, attack from predators and loss of food. Moreover, parasitic infections found in red panda during a recent study is a challenge in conserving the animals, conservationists say.