Protecting Red Pandas in the Wild

The Zoo supports the efforts of the Red Panda Network (RPN) to protect red pandas and their bamboo forests in the wild through the education and empowerment of local communities. RPN’s immediate goal is the creation of Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Red Panda Protected Forest, located in Eastern Nepal, which will be the world’s first protected area dedicated to red panda. RPN recently completed a two-day training for local teachers on biodiversity and red panda conservation.

Since 2007, RPN has worked to involve the local community in conservation efforts by training residents as professional forest stewards, or forest guardians.  As of May 2016, RPN is pleased to be employing 54 forest guardians from 27 Village District Committees in Eastern Nepal.

In July 2016, RPN announced the creation of an anti-poaching alliance among their forest guardians.  They’re hoping to have at least 100 members in the alliance to cover the entire Panchthar-Ilan-Tablejung area. Forest guardians help to mobilize the community into action to collectively preserve local biodiversity.

Maintaining Red Pandas in Zoos

We breed our pandas in accordance with the Red Panda Species Survival Plan (SSP) managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The SSP keeps a studbook of all the red pandas in North American zoos, determines which animals should be mated, and develops long-term research and management strategies for the species. Our Zoo Registrar is the North American Regional Studbook Keeper.

Red Panda Blogs