The Red Panda Network is working in Nepal in the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung (PIT) corridor to protect and maintain a viable red panda population. This corridor is very important because of its large red panda habitat and also its connectivity to the other protected areas harbouring red panda.

The immediate goal is the creation of red panda protected community forest in eastern Nepal, which will be the world’s first protected area dedicated to red panda conservation.

Colchester Zoo’s Action for the Wild began supporting this project in 2014, joining forces with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) European Endangered Species Breeding Programme to help fund Forest Guardians to work within and protect the red panda project area. In 2017, the Red Panda Network sponsored 73 Forest Guardians, and of these, EAZA funding is supporting 8 of them.

This community based conservation programme focuses on four major thematic areas:

  • Research and monitoring
  • Education and outreach
  • Red panda habitat restoration and management
  • A sustainable livelihood programme.

Between January and August 2017, our sponsored Forest Guardians carried out a wide range of activities across these aims, such as:

  • Training on red panda monitoring and anti-poaching techniques
  • Monitoring of red panda areas to check the status of red pandas and their habitat, vegetation condition, possible threats and poaching activities.
  • Management of tree nurseries, translocation of seedlings and establishment of red panda food source nurseries
  • Hosting of conservation awareness workshops amongst community forest user groups and livestock herders
  • Supporting students from local schools during mini-eco trips teaching about red pandas and their habitat
  • Helping to implement a dog neutering programme
  • Forest fire management training

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