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India home to both species of red panda: ZSI study

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    18th Jan, 2021


Scientists from the ZSI have concluded that India is home to both the (sub) species — Himalayan red panda (Ailurusfulgens) and the Chinese red panda (Ailurusstyani). The Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh splits the red panda into these two phylogenetic species.

Red Panda

  • The red pandais a mammal species native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
  • Conservation status: It is listed as Endangeredon the IUCN Red List because the wild population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals
  • Threats: Possible threats are due to: 
    • habitat loss and fragmentation
    • poaching
    • inbreeding depression
  • Habitat: The red panda is endemic to the temperate forests of the Himalayas, and ranges from the foothills of western Nepal to China in the east.  In India, it is found in Sikkim, western Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling district of West Bengal and parts of Meghalaya.
  • It is also the state animal of
  • Red Panda is considered an indicator species for ecological change.
  • The red panda is shy, solitary and arboreal animal.
  • It primarily feeds on bamboo and avoids human presence

The Chinese (left) and Himalayan (right) red pandas

Conservation efforts

  • Effort from both the national and international stakeholders
  • Adequate awareness among the local communities.
  • Research and replicate studies

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