Conservation in Bhutan

Red Panda Network has launched our first conservation project in Bhutan! This opportunity will expand our community-based efforts to protect red pandas and their habitat in another of the red panda's range countries.

Bhutan, like Nepal, is a landlocked country perched in the southern Himalayas. The mountains and river valleys that make up most of Bhutan's territory mean that the small country enjoys enormous natural beauty and biodiversity. Bhutan has enshrined environmental protections in the most recent constitution, and a huge network of national parks and protected areas cross its territory, but there is still work to be done. Like many developing nations, Bhutan is working to balance environmental concerns with the requirements of a modern economy and changing the climate.

To that end, Bhutan launched a five-year action plan to conserve red pandas on July 31, 2019.

“I am confident that this action plan will be a guiding document to all concerned stakeholders of red panda conservation,” says Rinzin Dorji, secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan.

RPN played a key role in advocating for and developing the plan. We are also helping to ensure its effective implementation under the leadership of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation and Department of Forest and Soil Conservation of the government of Nepal.

The presence of red panda has been confirmed in seventeen districts; including seven of the ten protected areas, and eight of the nine biological corridors (within the altitudinal range of 2000 meters to 4300 meters above sea level). However, population status and density are unknown. The action plan aims to conduct extensive research to understand red panda population dynamics, ecological roles, socio-cultural significance, breeding behaviors, and movement ecology.

The Red Panda Conservation Action Plan for Bhutan (2018-2023)  is a partnership between Charles Sturt University, Australia, the Government of Bhutan, World Wildlife Fund, Red Panda Network and Australian Landcare International. It is funded by the UK Darwin Initiative Fund from 2016 to 2019.