Conservationists stress on collaboration to protect red panda in Nepal

Published On: February 14, 2019 12:36 PM NPT

JUMLA, Feb 14: Conserving red panda, an endangered species, is becoming a challenge in Jumla amid increasing habitat loss and poaching. In addition, forest fires and human encroachment and attacks for domesticated dogs are also threatening its existence. There are around 1,000 individuals in the country.

Despite laws in place, poaching is becoming a concern to save red pandas. According to the National Park and Wildlife Conservation Act, 2029, poaching or hunting of wild animals can lead to a jail sentence from one to 10 years and a fine of Rs. 500,000 or both.

In turn, conservationists and participants in the program, "The role of media in the conservation of red panda from poaching and killing" have highlighted the need to formulate laws against poaching and hunting of Red Pandas while making local governments proactive in conserving the endangered species.

Protecting community forests filled with bamboos will automatically help to preserve red pandas, according to Saroj Shrestha, program coordinator of Red Panda Network. The main habitat of wildlife Red Panda is the bamboo forest.

Pragati Shahi, an officer at the Red Panda Network believed forging collaboration with community forest officers, initiating regular follow-ups and identifying the habitat of red panda would also help to protect the endangered species. She added that protecting the endangered species would also help to increase wildlife tourism.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, there are fewer than 10,000 mature red pandas in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.  

Red Pandas can be found in 23 diffrent districts of Nepal: Taplejung, Pancthar, Ilam, Sankhushabha, Bhojpur, Khotang, Solukhumbu, Ramechap, Dolakha, Sindhupalchok, Rashuwa, Nuwakot, Dhading, Lamjung, Baglung, Myagdi, Rukum, Rolpa, Dolpa, Jumla, Mugu, Kalikot and Jajarkot.  

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