Red panda Paaru © James Houston/Red Panda Network

Well this is a first for Nepal! Ten adorable wild red pandas have been equipped with GPS-satellite collars. The ten red pandas who are at the forefront of this study are Paaru, Dolma, Chintapu, Mechhachha, Bhumo, Senehang, Ngima, Brian, Ninamma, and Praladdevi. The wild animals have been named after the culture, landscape, language and ethnicity of Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung (PIT) corridor. The name Praladdevi was given in tribute to late Pralad Yonzon who was a pioneer red panda biologist.

These unique group of ten red pandas will play a key role in the study which will provide critical data on red panda ecology, distribution and behaviour in the wild. It hopes to gain valuable insight into landscape-level conservation efforts required to manage biological corridors such as PIT. “This is a proud moment for us to have the opportunity to fulfill one of the objectives of Nepal’s Red Panda Conservation Action Plan”, comments Ang Phuri Sherpa, RPN’s Country Director in Nepal. 

Paaru, the first red panda to be GPS collared in Nepal on September 22, 2019. © Sonam Tashi Lama/Red Panda Network

It took from September to December 2019 to complete the red panda collar study in Sandakpur, Ilam. The collars will be feeding recorded data every two hours for a year, revealing how red pandas interact with their habitat and in human-dominated landscapes. The milestone event was led by led by the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Department of Forests and Soil Conservation (DoFSC), and Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) in collaboration with Red Panda Network (RPN).

How amazing! Can’t wait to see how the study reveals 🙂

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