PANCHTHAR, March 25: An initiative has been taken to create the world's first conservation area for the endangered red pandas in eastern areas of Nepal, covering Panchthar, Ilam and Taplejung districts.
The Red Panda Network (RPN), along with other organizations, is trying to grab the attention of all stakeholders and conservationists to establish the conservation area which will be named the PIT (Panchthar, Ilam, Taplejung) Corridor.
“As these districts are suitable for red panda habitats, the to-be-formed PIT Corridor will be declared as the red panda conservation area,” said Pema Sherpa, coordinator of RPN. “A proposal for the project has been made to the government. Hopefully, the government will accept it.”
About 25 percent population of red pandas in Nepal is found in these three districts. “By conserving the community forests in these three districts and conserving red panda"s habitats, we hope to develop the area as a model for further conservation efforts,” said Sherpa, adding that the project would not only preserve wildlife diversity, but also promote tourism in the area and thus help generate income for the locals.
Red pandas are found in 31 VDCs of the above-mentioned three districts. Six VDCs in Panchthar, 13 in Ilam and 18 VDCs in Taplejung are habitats of red pandas. The endangered animal is found in 23 districts of Nepal.