Why Save the Red Panda?

Red pandas are ambassadors for a landscape that supports over 500 million people; nearly 10% of the global human population.

PIT Red Panda Protected Forest. Photo by Axel Gebauer
PIT Red Panda Protected Forest. Photo by Axel Gebauer

Red panda conservation is very important and makes a tremendous impact:

  • Combat Global Climate Change

    The forests where red pandas live are the lungs of South Asia. If these forests are intact and function properly they can help to combat global climate change and ensure a healthy life for the people, animals, and plants of South Asia.

  • Preserve the Ecological Integrity of South Asia

    The mountain chains of the Eastern Himalaya and parts of southwestern China — where red pandas are found — are the origin of South Asia’s three largest rivers: the Brahmaputra, Ganges, and Yangtse. These rivers provide water for half of China, northern and northwestern India, Nepal, Tibet Autonomous Region of China, Bhutan, and Myanmar.

  • One of a Kind: the Unique Biology of Red Pandas

    Red Pandas are unique; they are the only living member of their own taxonomic family - a living relict of the past. Saving them is important to the preservation of the world’s natural heritage and global biodiversity.

  • Protect a Global Biodiversity Hotspot

    According to conservation biologists, red pandas are an indicator of the overall health of the Eastern Himalayan Broadleaf Forest Ecoregion. Red pandas are a flagship species of the ecological health for this important ecoregion. Additionally, they are also an umbrella species: protecting them protects many threatened including clouded leopards, Himalayan black bears, and hundreds of bird species.

  • Red Pandas Need Trees and So Do We

    Red pandas are a tree-dwelling species (arboreal). They live alongside other threatened wildlife, as well as human communities, all of whom depend on forests for their survival. But red panda conservation also has a global impact: If we protect red panda habitat and help to mitigate deforestation we are providing our planet with the many benefits of trees including cleaner air, cleaner oceans, and reduced runoff.

How we save the red panda_ (2)

Red Panda Network is the world leader in red panda conservation. Since 2007, we have been working with local communities in Nepal to serve as active partners in the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat. Our core thematic areas are:

  • Research & Monitoring

  • Policy & Advocacy

  • Community-based Conservation

  • Education & Outreach

  • Sustainable Livelihoods

Red pandas are a species in peril. But there is a very special community in Eastern Nepal that has come together to protect them. A native of these forests, ‘Menuka Bhattarai,’ is one of only a few women working as a ‘Forest Guardian’ with the Red Panda Network. This is the story of Menuka—an unconventional wildlife warrior—who against all odds is following her heart to save the last of the red pandas.

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Join Menuka in helping us save the Last of the First Panda.