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.

Red Pandas are more than just cute creatures, they are symbols of life. Where they thrive in the mountains of South Asia you find healthy forests, clean water, vibrant ecosystems, and sustainable livelihoods.

Need more? Here are five key reasons to save red pandas:

1. 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.

2. 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.

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Red Pandas Remind Us of Important Things

If red pandas are thriving in the wild, so is the forest, local communities, and the people who appreciate them from afar. While value can be measured in ecological preservation and economic opportunities, there's more - these ambassadors of the Himalyan forests  "speak" to us at an emotional level - red pandas give people a moment of pause, to smile, and think about important things.

Red panda photographed during ecotrip in Central Nepal.
Red panda photographed during ecotrip in Central Nepal.