Highlighted Story: Red Panda

Planning for Range-Wide Red Panda Conservation

Over the past 7 years, CBSG has facilitated a series of workshops for the red panda throughout its range and across the in situ - ex situ spectrum.

 The Situation
The red panda lives in temperate forests of Nepal, Bhutan, northern India, northern Myanmar and western China. The population declined an estimated 50% over the last 50 years, and fewer than 10,000 individuals are thought to remain distributed over two (sub)species and five range countries. Ongoing threats include habitat loss and fragmentation (through climate change), disturbance, and illegal killing. It has become increasingly likely that the survival of this “forgotten panda” will depend on human intervention, both to address the causes of primary threats in situ, and to offset the effects of all threats by intensively managing populations across the in situ and ex situ spectrum.

The Process

CBSG South Asia, Europe, and HQ joined forces to facilitate a series of workshops: a pre-PHVA in India (2007); PHVAs in Nepal (2010), China (2012), and India (2013); and meetings in Bhutan (2012). At the same time a Red Panda Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) was implemented under WAZA (2012), not only to help ensure the continued maintenance of demographically, genetically, and behaviorally healthy global ex situ populations, but also to identify the most opportune ways to contribute to in situ conservation.

The Results

Both through the PHVA workshops and the GSMP, the in situ and ex situ communities together have developed a comprehensive set of conservation strategies and activities, spanning the entire geographic range, as well as across the in situex situ continuum. The group is planning a publication on the range-wide status and habitat suitability for the species, including potential consequences of climate change, a very important issue for the Himalayan region.