Don’t get confused! Though they share a name and a diet, pandas and red pandas are not closely related. Red pandas are much smaller than giant pandas and are the only living member of their taxonomic family—the Ailuridae family.
Native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China, this mammal is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. It is estimated that there are fewer than 10,000 mature individuals and that number continues to decline.
Habitat loss is the primary threat to red pandas. Rapid human population growth and unsustainable living practices are causing the degradation and fragmentation of red panda habitat. As a tree-dwelling species, red pandas struggle to survive when forests are fragmented and populations become susceptible to genetic bottleneck.
Thanks to your donations, Greater Good Charities’ Project Peril was able to grant money to the Red Panda Network’s First Panda Challenge: a response to the endangered status of such a unique and important species.
Red Panda Network (RPN) aims to restore more than 32 hectares of core red panda habitat by planting more than 30,000 native trees, that have been identified as red panda food and shelter species, and help create habitat connectivity that can support viable red panda populations. Restoring it would create a critical corridor for red pandas and other endangered wildlife of the area.
In the long-term, RPN Forest Guardians plan to conduct ongoing monitoring of red panda populations and habitat with camera traps and data from pre-restoration will be compared to post-restoration which will allow scientists to measure the impact of the project.