Officials sound alarm for urgency to protect red panda


11th Feb, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew


Ilam, Feb 11: The community forest officials at the northern rim of the forest areas have decided to ramp up efforts to cap the unabated smuggling of the endangered red panda.

The red panda population is on a decline with increasing deforestation, smuggling and poaching. The northern parts of the forest area still have animal farms and lush pasture used for grazing cattle. The officials say that the presence of animal sheds in the jungle has been a cause of continuing deforestation.

Red Panda conservationist, Kumar Budhathoki, said the trend of shifting the sheds cause deforestation which leads to extinction of red pandas. It affects the endangered species habitat and source of food. The forest consumers also head out into the forest to hunt with dogs which has periled the existence of red panda.

More than 70 per cent of the total population of red panda in Nepal is located outside the conservation areas. Conservationist, Finju Sherpa, spoke of the challenges the conservationists are facing in saving the red panda as there are no conservation areas in mid hilly region.

The estimated population of red panda in Nepal is 1,000. And 25 per cent of this population is found in Ilam, Paanchthar and Taplejung.