Red pandas in Nepal: a community-based approach to landscape-level conservation

November 4, 2021 / 5 mins read

Sherpa, A. P., Lama, S. T., Shrestha, S., Williams, B., & Bista, D.

Red Panda: Biology and Conservation of the First Panda, (pp. 495-508).

5 November 2021

The community-based red panda conservation programme covers half of the red panda range in Nepal. This programme started in eastern Nepal in 2010 which was extended to western Nepal in 2017. This integrated conservation model comprises research, monitoring and antipoaching; education and outreach, habitat management, and sustainable livelihood programmes. Forest guardians, red panda–based ecotourism and sustainable livestock herding are some of the flagship initiatives of this programme. During our time in Nepal, we have witnessed proactive engagement as well as improving awareness and perceptions regarding red panda conservation. Furthermore, increasing occupancy and detection rate shows that the red panda status is improving in the Panchthar–Ilam–Taplejung area. Most importantly, local people now consider the red panda as an indicator of a healthy forest. We have successfully demonstrated the feasibility of replicating this community-based conservation model in new areas.