Red Panda Research
To study the behaviour of red pandas in India both ex situ and in situ
The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a small mammal of the Himalayas, almost the size of a jungle cat with a bright chestnut coat and ringed tail. It is distributed in the Himalayas from central Nepal through northern Burma and in the mountains of south-western China (Sichuan, Yunnan and Xiang provinces at an altitude of 1500–4000 m) The red panda is categorised as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is included under CITES as an Appendix I species. Red pandas are threatened by habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and trapping.
Various ex situ conservation efforts exist for the red panda. Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park in Darjeeling, India, is dedicated to the conservation of endangered Himalayan fauna and embarked on a conservation breeding initiative for red pandas in the early 1980s with the acquisition of 1.3 animals. At present the zoo keeps 15 (10.3.2) red pandas and managed to release four animals back into the wild. The present project aims to look into and study various aspects of red panda behaviour at the zoo and in the wild.
The objectives of the project are (1) to study the behaviour of red pandas at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, including their breeding biology, using closed circuit television and night vision cameras; and (2) to study the behaviour of red pandas, including within and between species interactions, in the wild at Singhalila National Park with the aid of camera traps.
WAZA Conservation Project 10022 is implemented by Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park.
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