Resources & Publications
Here are a variety of scientific research papers, publications, and resources so can further your enthusiasm for red pandas.
Angela Glaston (edited by), Red Panda: Biology and Conservation of the First Panda (1st edition). Academic Press. 2011.
A broad-based overview of the biology of the red panda, Ailurus fulgens. A carnivore that feeds almost entirely on vegetable material and is colored chestnut red, chocolate brown and cream rather than the expected black and white. This book gathers all the information that is available on the red panda both from the field and captivity as well as from cultural aspects, and attempts to answer that most fundamental of questions, “What is a red panda?” Scientists have long focused on the red panda’s controversial taxonomy. Is it in fact an Old World procyonid, a very strange bear or simply a panda? All of these hypotheses are addressed in an attempt to classify a unique species and provide an in-depth look at the scientific and conservation-based issues urgently facing the red panda today.
Damber Bista, "What is Driving the Increased Demand for Red Panda Pelts?" Human Dimensions of Wildlife. 17 Feb 2020.
Recent seizures of red panda pelts suggest an increasing illegal trade. Our study documents the socio-cultural perspectives affecting red panda conservation in Nepal in an attempt to determine what might be driving this increased trade. To do this, we interviewed local people; reviewed published and unpublished works, websites, and newspapers; and consulted experts. The majority of people living in red panda habitat seem familiar with this species, but it rarely has any medicinal, cultural, or religious significance. Currently, what is driving the demand for pelts is a mystery and cannot be explained by inherent negative perceptions about the animal’s value to society or positive perceptions about its economic value within Nepal.
Sonam Tashi Lama, “First Photographic Record of Marbled Cat Pardofelis Marmorata Martin, 1837 (Mammalia, Carnivora, Felidae) in Nepal”. Nature Communication 32:19-34.
The marbled cat Pardofelis marmorata is a Near Threatened small felid. The cat’s presence in Nepal is based on an anecdote. A camera trap-based study to access diversity and abundance of terrestrial mammals in eastern Nepal accumulated 3,014 camera trap days and resulted in 5,176 photographs of 17 medium-large sized mammal species. Amongst them, a marbled cat was captured at a single camera trap station in January 2018.
Damber Bista, “Communities in Frontline in Red Panda Conservation, Eastern Nepal“. Friends of Nature, The Himalayan Naturalist 2018 1(1), 11-12.
The national red panda Ailurus fulgens survey of 2016 shows that nearly 70% of the total red panda habitat in Nepal falls outside the protected areas (MoFSC 2016). Conservation interventions targeting this endangered species are minimal across most of its range which are either being managed by Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs), or directly by the District Forest Office and their field units.
Krishna Prasad Acharya, Saroj Shrestha, Prakash Kumar Paudel, Ang Phuri Sherpa, Shant Raj Jnawali, Sakshi Acharya, & Damber Bista, “Pervasive Human Disturbance on Habitats of Endangered Red Panda Ailurus fulgens in the Central Himalaya“. Global Ecology and Conservation 15 (2018).
Red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) live in the dense forests of mid-hills of the Himalaya and feed almost exclusively on bamboo. They are vulnerable to extinction due to human induced disturbances. Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation along with poaching are the most pressing anthropogenic threats to red panda conservation.
Damber Bista, “Distribution and Habitat use of Red Panda in the Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape of Nepal“. PLOS One. October 17, 2017.
In Nepal, the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) has been sparsely studied, although its range covers a wide area. The present study was carried out in the previously untapped Chitwan-Annapurna Landscape (CHAL) situated in central Nepal with an aim to explore current distributional status and identify key habitat use. Extensive field surveys conducted in 10 red panda range districts were used to estimate species distribution by presence-absence occupancy modeling and to predict distribution by presence-only modeling.
Sonam Tashi Lama, Rinzin Phunjok Lama , Ganga Ram Regmi & Tirth Raj Ghimire, “Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections in Free-ranging Red Panda Ailurus fulgens Cuvier, 1825 (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ailuridae) in Nepal“. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 26 June, 2015. 7(8): 7460–7464.
The Red Panda Ailurus fulgens is a small carnivore that is adapted to a mainly herbivorous diet. The present study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of parasitic infections in a free-ranging population of Red Pandas in a community forest in Nepal. A total of 23 faecal samples were collected and examined. Protozoa infections were the most common and cestode infections occurred the least.
Saroj Shrestha, Karan Bahadur Shah, Damber Bista, Hem Sagar Bara, “Photographic Identification of Individual Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens Cuvier, 1825)“. Applied Ecology and Environmental Sciences, 2015, Vol. 3, No. 1, 11-15.
This study was carried out to identify individual red panda (Ailurus fulgens) through photographs and develop a protocol for their identification from pelage patterns. Manual observation method for photo-identification was applied for matching natural markings and statistical tools like Kruskal-Wallis tests and Sensitivity and Specificity tests were used during the analysis.
Damber Bista, Saroj Shrestha, Ajaya Jang Kunwar, Sakshi Acharya, Shant Raj Jnawali and Krishna Prasad Acharya,“Status of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Red Panda of Nepal“. PeerJ. 6 September, 2017.
Red pandas are known to be highly susceptible to endoparasites, which can have a prominent impact on the population dynamics of this endangered species. There are very limited published reports on prevalence and risk of parasites in wild populations of red panda, especially localized reports.
Brian Williams, “Red Panda in Eastern Nepal: How do They Fit into Ecoregional Conservation of the Eastern Himalaya“. Conservation Biology in Asia (2006). Published by the Society for Conservation Biology Asia Section and Resources Himalaya, Kathmandu, Nepal. Chapter 16. Pages 236-251.
Ecoregion-based conservation (ERBC) is the crux of the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) global landscape-level biodiversity conservation vision. An ecoregion transcends national borders and, instead, focuses on meaningful biological boundaries that support distinct, major ecological and evolutionary processes which create and maintain biodiversity.
Brian H. Williams, Bhagawan R. Dahal and Tulsi R. Subedi, “Red Panda Biology and Conservation of the First Panda: Chapter 22 – Project Punde Kundo: Community-based Monitoring of a Red Panda Population in Eastern Nepal.” Pages 236-251.
Project Punde Kundo specifically focuses on the Singhalila range that separates Nepal from India. This area, also referred to as the Panchthar Ilam Taplejung (PIT) Corridor, is recognized as a region of international importance for biodiversity conservation due to its species richness and diversity and transboundary connectivity between Kanchenjunga Conservation Area in Nepal and Singhalila National Park and Parsey Rhodendron Sanctuary in India.
Brian Williams, “The Status of the Red Panda in Jamuna and Mabu Villages of Eastern Nepal“. A Thesis Presented to The Faculty of the Department of Environmental Studies San José State University. May, 2004.
Protecting the red panda is important to both the preservation of Nepal’s natural heritage and global biodiversity because it is a monotypic and indicator species with specialized food habits. It is unique in the animal world because it has no close living relatives and its family, Ailuridae, has only one genus, Ailurus.
Manoj Bhatta, Karan Bahadur Shah, Bhupendra Devkota, Rajiv Paudel, Saroj Panthi, “Distribution and Habitat Preference of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) in Jumla District, Nepal“ Open Journal of Ecology, 2014, 4, 989-1001.
Reliable and sufficient information regarding status, distribution and habitat preference of red panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) is lacking in Nepal. The research activities on red panda in the mid-western Nepal are very limited, so the status of red panda in the region is quite unknown. The study conducted during May, 2013 in three Village Development Committees (VDCs) namely Godhemahadev, Malikathata and Tamti of Jumla district was an important step for providing vital information including distribution and habitat preference of this species.
Red Panda Databases & Research Sites
- Redpandafinder.com by Justin Fairchild
A site that tracks family trees of red pandas, as well as re-sharing high-quality panda photos from Instagram for a wider audience. Data is currently for Japanese styani pandas, and will be expanding to other zoos worldwide.
- Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute - Red Panda
- IUCN Red List
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission hosts a Red List of Endangered Species providing taxonomic, conservation status, and distribution information on endangered species.