Mission: The Red Panda Network is committed to the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities.
Species: Red Panda
Support started: 2014
Amount donated: €250 donated annually to help sponsor a forest guardian to monitor and protect red panda habitat, as well as educate communities on the importance of the red panda.
Find out more about our work with project through our annual report:
The Red Panda Network is committed to the conservation of wild red pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities.
Species: Red Panda
Background: The red panda is classed as endangered by the IUCN Red List. Human populations are leading to greater exploitation and fragmentation of the red panda's forest home. The Red Panda GSMP (Global Species Management Plan) Team decided at their workshop in 2012 that they would promote red panda conservation in the wild, as well as cooperating on the global captive management of the species. It was agreed that this conservation goal was to be achieved by supporting the work of the Red Panda Network, an organization that uses community conservation to protect red pandas in Nepal. This is a win-win situation; it brings employment to remote villages, it protects the local community forests that have no state protection, it makes people proud of their natural heritage, it raises awareness and it provides good information on the status of the pandas.
Forest guardians hold the key to the future of the red panda. They work within their respective communities to create a Community Forest Network, which empowers local people to protect their forests. Forest guardians are trained as professional forest stewards and local conservation ambassadors who conduct regular monitoring of red panda populations and habitat, as well as awareness-building activities. Therefore the Red Panda Network Forest Guardian sponsorship not only helps protect the red panda in its natural habitat, but it helps support a family at the same time.
The Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung (PIT) corridor is home to 25 percent of the red panda population of Nepal and plays a vital role in linking protected areas of Nepal and India. This community-based red panda conservation programme has been extended throughout all 27 Village Development Committees (VDCs) within red panda range of the corridor. 54 local people have now been trained and European Zoos are currently supporting eight of them; providing their wages and providing training courses in activities such as monitoring techniques, nature guide training and anti-poaching investigation.