In order to understand the effectiveness of an endangered species conservation program, it is essential to have accurate baseline population data. In the case of the red panda, this is absent.
To date, we have conducted baseline research of red panda within the Panchthar, Ilam and Taplejung (PIT) districts of Eastern Nepal, as well as preliminary surveys in Central and Western Nepal where anecdotal reports of red panda sightings have yet to be documented systematically by science.
Several years of monitoring has allowed us to see the effectiveness of our conservation programs and we have seen an increase in red panda awareness among the local communities where we conduct our research. And while media reports about poachers caught with red panda skins continue from other parts of Nepal, no poaching arrests were necessary in areas where RPN has been building community awareness.