RED PANDA (AILURUS FULGENS) ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION: THREAT AND CONSERVATIONBhupen Roka and Dhani Raj Chhetri
The red panda is a charismatic animal that acts as an icon to attract and encourage the public in support of conservation action. Forest fragmentation, habitat degradation, forest resource collection, cattle grazing, and increasing visitor number in protected areas are the prime threat to the red panda population. Confiscation of red panda pelts in different countries shows an increase in illegal trade in recent years. Various research articles, conference reports, chapters and books, management plans, and thesis on red panda were referred for the study. This study aimed to understand the threat to a red panda in the wild habitat and highlights the requirement of conservation initiatives. Collaborative study on red panda population, prey-predator density, habitat, food availability, floral diversity and, threat assessment in the entire habitat can contribute immensely in framing and formulation conservation strategies for long-term management of the species and maintaining the viable population in the wild.