Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday! We need your help to restore critical red panda habitat in Nepal.
This holiday season your donations to the Red Panda Network (RPN) will go directly towards Plant A Red Panda Home, an RPN conservation campaign to reverse the biggest threat to red pandas—habitat loss due to deforestation.
Thanks to our First Panda Challengers, all donations to RPN on #GivingTuesday on December 3rd will be DOUBLED until midnight! Your donations this holiday season will directly support the Plant a Red Panda Home campaign.
Forests are essential for the survival of red pandas. Yet, rapid human population growth and human activities have reduced nearly 70 percent of Nepal’s red panda habitat to disconnected patches of land. These fragile ecosystems could disappear altogether as they lie outside of Nepal’s protected areas.
RPN has identified 32 hectares of key habitat in these fragmented areas that could be replanted, protected, and restored to create a corridor linking fragmented red panda habitat. With your support, we can restore and protect our goal of—a minimum—of 32 hectares of critical habitat for red pandas in Nepal which will create a wildlife corridor linking these patches of land.
Your donation to RPN will have a direct and measurable impact on habitat loss, which is the number one threat to red pandas in Nepal.
Thanks to you, since 2016, RPN has reforested an estimated 32.7 hectares of degraded red panda habitat with a total of approximately 20,000 saplings, local trees, and bamboo species. These efforts are already aiding local wildlife. According to monitoring by RPN Forest Guardians (FGs) and camera trap surveys, red pandas and other endangered wildlife are now flourishing in the regions of forest restored by RPN.
Restoring forest in Nepal isn’t easy, RPN Country Director Ang Phuri Sherpa told me. RPN’s reforestation efforts have been successful, in part, because of RPN’s multi-step approach to reforestation, which involves and educates the local community.
“It’s not only how much land you planted,” Sherpa told me, “it’s how many saplings that were planted survived.”
Sapling survival depends on a lot of different factors. The plant species in red panda habitats have differing growth rates that are affected by elevation, rainfall, and grazing by animals, Sherpa explained. Once the right species of plants are selected for the land to be replanted, saplings are carried to the (often) remote deforested regions in bamboo baskets.
Saplings grow best when planted in the rainy season, which can make the path to the planting site a muddy and slippery trip. Once the saplings are planted they need to be protected and monitored, Sherpa explained. Because RPN Forest Guardians monitor the newly-planted saplings, they know that livestock (e.g., cows and goats), buffalo, and yak attempt to eat the fresh shoots. “That’s why fences are so important,” Sherpa told me.
Your donations to RPN this holiday season will directly fund efforts to plant native trees in deforested areas, install fencing to protect newly-planted saplings, and purchase land in areas of critical red panda habitat in eastern Nepal so it can be converted to community (protected) land and replanted.
- $1,000 enables RPN to plant trees in one hectare of critical red panda habitat in Eastern Nepal.
- $2,700 purchases one hectare of private land for reforestation in Eastern Nepal.
- $1,000 enables RPN to plant and fence trees in one hectare of critical red panda habitat in Western Nepal.
Thanks to our amazing supporters, we have already raised $22,411 (+$22,411 FPC match), bringing us to $44,822 and nearly half-way to our goal! With your help, we can raise $100,000 to Plant A Red Panda Home in Nepal. Your tax-deductible, year-end gift will automatically be doubled, thanks to First Panda Challengers—a generous group of donors who have agreed to match funds raised through this campaign—your gift will have double the impact for the first panda.
Holly Alyssa MacCormick
Writing and Communications Volunteer
Red Panda Network