RPN implemented the world's first community-based red panda monitoring program and completed Nepal's first national red panda survey.
In 2016, Red Panda Network collaborated with the Government of Nepal to complete the nation's first national red panda population and habitat survey. The study expanded 35 districts and confirmed the existence of red pandas in 23 districts and 7 protected areas, as well as provided important information on habitat quality, deforestation and climate change throughout Nepal's red panda range.
In 2007, Red Panda Network created Project Punde Kundo, the world’s first community-based red panda population monitoring program. Since then, we have trained 150 local people as citizen scientists in red panda survey and monitoring techniques; out of the total, 73 are members of our Forest Guardian team.
Our Forest Guardian program is the centerpiece of our community-based initiatives. They monitor and patrol red panda habitat throughout the year and report population and habitat information to our biologists and field staff. The result is baseline data that allows us to implement science-based conservation programs and evaluate the effectiveness of our programs.
Our community-based approach promotes red panda stewardship. As community members are involved in the research and monitoring of their forests they begin to lose the local perception of the forest as a source of extractive income to one of long-term sustainable benefit.