The endangered Himalayan Red Panda: first photographic evidence from its westernmost distribution range.

April 30, 2020 / 5 mins read

Shrestha, S., Lama, S., Sherpa, A. P., Ghale, D., & Lama, S. T.

Journal of Threatened Taxa, 13(5), 18156-18163.

April 2021

An endangered species, the Himalayan Red Panda Ailurus fulgens is one of the most iconic and sought-after species in the world. Although a symbolic species of the Himalayas, it is threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation, and poaching. The data collection was carried out in accordance with the Red Panda community-based monitoring protocol. Threats to the Himalayan Red Panda within the study area are reported based on key informant interviews and direct field observation. This paper provides new evidence for the presence of Himalayan Red Pandas beyond their previously-known westernmost limit (81.687778°E) across its distribution range. An average encounter rate of 0.92 signs/km was recorded from the surveyed community forests. Trees were the most preferred substrates used for defecation. Extensive resource collection, poaching, overgrazing and forest fires are identified as some of the most significant threats. In general, the study contributes to the conservation of the Himalayan Red Panda in western distribution ranges.