|Scientific Name:||Ailurus fulgens F.G. Cuvier, 1825|
Ailurus styani Thomas, 1902
|Taxonomic Notes:||Groves (2011) considered that the two taxa of Ailuridae, Ailurus fulgens fulgens and A. f. styani, should be treated as two separate species.|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Endangered A2cde+3cde+4cde ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Glatston, A., Wei, F., Than Zaw & Sherpa, A.|
|Contributor(s):||Wang, Y., Choudhury, A., Yonzon, P., Wozencraft, C, Ghose, D. & Dorjii, S.|
Red Panda is listed as Endangered because its population has plausibly declined by 50% over the last three generations (estimated at 18 years) and this decline is projected to continue, and probably intensify, in the next three generations. There is no credible quantification of decline rate from anywhere in the species' range. The overall forest loss rate at appropriate altitudes in the species' range is suspected to be sufficient for Near Threatened status (about 25% in the last three generations), but Red Panda populations are suspected to be declining much faster, reflecting a battery of direct threats, this species' fragmented present range, and poor survival in fragmented areas. (1) Red Panda diet is 98% bamboo. These plants show mass flowering followed by die off. Red Pandas will not readily find new feeding grounds in a highly fragmented landscape and are exposed to other threats when crossing unsuitable habitat. These bamboos do not easily re-establish after flowering in areas of environmental degradation and deforestation, which are now widespread across the species's range. (2) Red Pandas are highly susceptible to canine distemper (even developing the disease after vaccination with domestic dog vaccine), which is lethal to them. As more people, particularly herders, encroach Red Panda habitat, contact between domestic dogs (and their excreta) and Red Pandas increases. Unless all dogs (including feral ones) in Red Panda habitat are vaccinated against this disease the chance that it will enter and spread in the wild Red Panda population with catastrophic consequences are high. (3) Red Panda has specific habitat requirements for forest type, altitude, slope gradient and aspect, proximity to water courses, precipitation and presence of tree stumps. The gentle slopes and rich bamboo understorey of Red Panda habitat make it also a prime choice for herders with their dogs. Cattle also prefer these more gentle slopes, so trample bamboo, which is also collected extensively by herdsmen and used for fodder. In addition tree stumps are often collected by local villagers for firewood. (4) Hunting for trade seems to be increasing, Red Pandas are starting to enter the pet trade, perhaps partly in response to the increasing number of ‘cute’ images on social media. Deforestation and road building are easing access to Red Panda habitat. There are reports of poachers capturing Red Pandas in Nepal and Myanmar to satisfy the Chinese demand for the species (as wild meat, for medicine and for skins). The smaller population fragments, such as in Nepal, can support little or no off-take. (5) The human population in the Eastern Himalayas is growing at an average rate of 2.1% (doubling time 33 years). With this growth more people are moving into Red Panda habitat for their livelihoods, thereby exacerbating the above threats. Yonzon and Hunter (1991) showed that Red Panda mortality is high in disturbed areas; in their study area only three of the 12-13 cubs born survived to six months and only five of the nine adults survived the study period. They stated that 57% of these deaths were directly related to human causes. Comparable figures from undisturbed habitat are not available; but annual mortality rates such as these cannot possibly be sustainable.
The Ailuridae comprises a monospecific family. In part for this reason of conservation priority, with the evidence of precise decline rate being inadequate for certain discrimination between Vulnerable and Endangered, the precautionary course is taken of categorisation as Endangered, pending more precise information.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
The current Red Panda distribution is detailed in three Population and Habitat Viability Analyses (PHVAs) since 2010, covering all range states holding the species: Nepal (2010), China and Myanmar (2012), and India and Bhutan (2013). As discussed by Roberts and Gittleman (1984), Red Panda distribution range should be considered disjunct, not continuous. Reports, including a shot animal of undoubted identification and provenance, of a population on the Meghalaya Plateau of northeastern India, in anomalously tropical habitat (Choudhury 2001, Duckworth 2011) warrant investigation as soon as possible. Captive Red Pandas from the main distribution and habitat do not breed well in tropical conditions (Princee and Glatston in prep); the Meghalaya Red Pandas, if native, might be a separate taxon.
In Nepal Red Panda has been reported from 23 districts, but a number lack confirmed specific records. A further district, Darchula, contains suitable habitat but so far lacks any Red Panda reports. The westernmost global reports are from the Api Nampa Conservation Area and Khaptad in far western Nepal (Jnawali et al. 2012), but specific verifiable records there have not been traced since the 2010 PHVA, even though local people had affirmed Red Panda in these areas in the recent past. Two post-PHVA surveys failed to find the species in either area (H.P. Sharma pers. comm. 2011, A. Thapa pers. comm. 2014). The westernmost confirmed records are from Kalikot and Jumla at about 81°E (Dangol 2014); both are west of the formerly accepted range. In Bhutan it is found in 13 districts (Haa, Thimphu, Paro, Punakha, Wangdiphodrang, Gasa, Trongsa, Zhemgang, Bumthang, Mongar, Lhuntse, Trashigang and Trashiyangtse); high-elevation areas in other districts (Chukha, Tsirang, Dagana, Samtse and Samdrupjongkhar) require further surveys (Dorjii et al. 2012). In India it is found in only three states: Sikkim, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh. In Myanmar it is known only from the northernmost state, Kachin, and is locally distributed even there (Than Zaw et al. 2008). In China it is found in three provinces, Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet. Sichuan is its main homeland. In this province its range extends through the Minshan and Liangshan to Qionglai and the Lesser and Greater Xiangling mountains (Wei et al.1999, 2011). It is believed to be extinct in the rest of its historical range in China, e.g. Guizhou, Gansu, Shaanxi and Qinghai provinces (Wei et al. 1999). The Xiaoxiangling population appears isolated from the other A. f. styani population(s). It is a small population and represents a different genetic type that should be considered as a separate conservation unit (Hu et al. 2011).
Native:Bhutan; China; India; Myanmar; Nepal
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
Red Panda was “estimated to be more common in the eastern part of its range, especially along the Myanmar-Yunnan border, yet it cannot be considered a common species” (Roberts and Gittleman 1984). There have been four undertakings to estimate, per country, the area of occupied habitat and from this the approximate Red Panda population: Choudhury (2001), Mahato (2010), the recent Population and Habitat Viability Analyses (PHVAs; held in Nepal in 2010, China in 2012, and India in 2013) and Kendal et al. (2015). These show very little concordance (see Table 1 in the Supplementary Material) and whilst some differences might reflect real change between earlier and later assessments, most must stem from differing assumptions and techniques. The PHVA figures are taken here as the most realistic guides, although none has been corrected for suitability of gross area of broadly suitable habitat accounting for specific preferences. Yet Red Panda is selective in forest used with regard to level of annual rainfall, percentage canopy cover, and density of bamboo (e.g., Yonzon et al. 1991, Dorji et al. 2012, Zhou et al. 2013). These would ideally all be taken into account when estimating area of potential habitat. In addition, Red Panda is usually found near water-courses and in areas with many tree stumps, and apparently prefers medium-gradient or shallower, north-facing slopes. In combination, these factors will make the area occupied at average to high densities substantially below that of potential habitat. For example, taking into account forest type, altitude, precipitation and slope aspect, Yonzon et al. (1991) estimated only 68 km2 of the 1,719 km2 Langtang National Park to comprise suitable Red Panda habitat.
Regardless of the uncertainty of actual area occupied, increases in human population and the continuing spread of human activity has driven habitat loss and degradation since the assessment of Choudhury (2001).
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:|
Red Panda is closely associated with montane forests (oak mixed; mixed broad-leaf conifer; and conifer) with dense bamboo-thicket understorey (Roberts and Gittleman 1984). Conifer/fir forests seem to be preferred (Yonzon and Hunter 1991). Habitats above the tree-line are probably not consistently occupied given that Red Panda is essentially arboreal (Choudhury 2001). A dead Red Panda at 4,325 m asl in Arunachal Pradesh, in an area where the species is not generally known and far from any typical Red Panda habitat, was presumably a dispersant (Dorjee et al. 2014).
Red Panda is largely vegetarian, eating chiefly young leaves and shoots of bamboo. It also takes fruit, roots, succulent grasses, acorns, lichens, birds' eggs and insects (Hodgson 1847, Sowerby 1932). It is largely arboreal (Hodgson 1847).
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||Yes|
|Generation Length (years):||6|
|Movement patterns:||Altitudinal Migrant|
|Use and Trade:||Red Panda is taken for various purposes including wild meat, medicine, pelts and pets. Levels of offtake are not well documented; nor are trends in offtake or geographical patterns of harvest and use. It has been suggested that the rising numbers in the internet pet trade in China are captive-bred, but this remains to be confirmed.|
Each of the three recent Population and Habitat Viability Analyses (PHVAs) listed the threats to Red Panda assessed to be most prevalent in their country/countries. Several problems occur throughout the species's range, albeit with some variation in assessed impact. The major threats are habitat loss and fragmentation; habitat degradation; and physical threats. These are all compounded by the region's increasing human population; climate change; natural disasters; inadequate enforcement of laws and regulations; mostly low political will and interest; political instability (in some regions); low coordination of stakeholders, funding and human resources; trans-boundary issues facilitating poaching, illegal collection of non-timber forest products, and Red Panda trade (skins and other body parts); and the movement of cattle herders/grazers during the breeding season.
In some areas, habitat is lost and degraded by commercial logging. In the Emaw Bum region of Myanmar more than 5,000 km2 have been logged since 1999–2000, resulting in many new roads into mountain areas, e.g. between the May Hka river and the China border. These logging roads not only destroy habitat directly, they also facilitate access for hunters and can destabilise the substrate. A recent video report from FFI shows two young Red Pandas crossing a landslide, the result of foreign road-building in the area.
The Red Panda is included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix I (www.cites.org). It is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972, the highest protection possible for a species in India (Choudhury 2001). It is also legally protected in Bhutan, China (where it is classed as a Category II species under the Wild Animal Protection Law; Wei et al. 1999a), Nepal (Glatston 1994) and Myanmar (by the Wildlife Act of 1994). In China, the species is Red Listed nationally as 'Vulnerable' under A2ace. In the most recent Red List for Nepal (Jnawali et al. 2012), Red Panda is considered to be 'Endangered' under C2a(i),
China has 46 protected areas containing Red Panda (Wei et al. 2011), covering about 65% of the species’s habitat in China. Poor law enforcement in PAs was listed as a problem during the 2012 PHVA workshop (Wei et al. 2014). Livestock grazing and collection of non-timber forest products occur widely in these areas.
4. To improve awareness: design and implement a dedicated awareness programme using radio, pamphlets, posters, and documentary film; secure adequate funding; improve conservation education (with a focus on Red Pandas) in schools; establish/strengthen Green Force Clubs; implement a Red Panda research programme, identifying priority research topics, and including regular monitoring of its habitat; develop a trans-national ‘Project Red Panda’.
|Errata reason:||Corrected the spelling of an authors name used as a reference from Kendal, K., to Kandel, K., in the reference "Kendal, K., Huettmann, F., Krishna Suwal, M., Regmi, G.R., Nijman, V., Nekaris, K.A.I., Sonam Tashi Lama, Thapa, A., Sharma, H.P. and Subedi, T.R. 2015. Rapid multi-nation distribution assessment of a charismatic conservation species using open access ensemble model GIS predictions: Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in the Hindu-Kush Himalaya region. Biological Conservation 181: 150–161".|
Bahuguna, C. C., Dhaundyal, S., Vyas, P. and Singhal, N. 1998. Red panda in Darjeeling at Singalila National Park and adjoining forest: a status report. Small Carnivore Conservation 19: 11-12.
Cheminaud, G. 1942. Mes Chasses au Laos, volume 2. Payot, Paris, France.
Choudhury, A. 1997. Red Panda Ailurus fulgens F. Cuvier in the north-east with an important record from the Garo hills. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 94: 145-147.
Choudhury, A. 2001. An overview of the status and conservation of the red panda Ailurus fulgens in India, with reference to its global status. Oryx 35: 250-259.
Corbet, G.B. and Hill, J.E. 1992. Mammals of the Indo-Malayan Region: a Systematic Review. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Dangol, B. 2014. Habitat and distribution of Red Panda: a case study from Ranchuli VDC, Kalikot District, Nepal. (unpublished thesis for Master Degree in Environmental Science). Central Department of Environmental Science, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Deuve, J. 1972. Les mammiferes du Laos. Ministry of Education, Laos.
Dorjee, D., Chakraborty, R. and Dutta, P.K. 2014. A note on the high elevation distribution record of Red Panda Ailurus fulgens (Mammalia: Carnivora: Ailuridae) in Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 6.
Dorji, S., Rajaratnam, R. and Vernes, K. 2012. The Vulnerable Red Panda Ailurus fulgens in Bhutan: distribution, conservation status and management recommendations. Oryx 46: 536–543.
Duckworth, J.W. 2011. Records and reports of Red Pandas Ailurus fulgens from areas with warm climates. In: A.R. Glatston (ed.), Red Panda: biology and conservation of the first panda, pp. 419–434. : Academic Press, London.
Ghose, D. and Dutta, P.K. 2011. Status and distribution of the Red Panda, Ailurus fulgens fulgens, in India. In: A.R. Glatston (ed.), Red Panda, biology and conservation of the first panda, pp. 357–374. Academic Press, London, UK.
Glatston, A.R. 1994. The Red Panda, Olingos, Coatis, Raccoons, and their Relatives. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Procyonids and Ailurids. IUCN/SSC Mustelid, Viverrid and Procyonid Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.
Goodrich, J., Quigley, K.S., Lewis, J.C.M., Astafiev, A.A., Slabi, E.V., Miquelle, D., Smirnov, E.N., Kerley, L.L., Armstrong, D.L., Quigley, H.B., Hornocker, M.G. 2012. Sero-survey of free ranging Amur Tigers in the Russian far east. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 48: 186-189.
Groves, C. 2011. The taxonomy and phylogeny of the genus Ailurus. In: A.R. Glatston (ed.), Red Panda, biology and conservation of the first panda, pp. 101–124. Academic Press, London, UK.
Hodgson, B.H. 1847. On the cat-toed subplantigrades of the sub-Himalayas. Journal of the Asiatic Society 16: 1113-1129.
Hu, Y., Guo, Y., Qi, D., Zhan, X., Wu, H., Brufort, M.W and Wei, F. 2011. Genetic structuring and recent demographic history of Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) inferred from microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Ecology 20: 2662–2675.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 November 2015).
IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 27 April 2017).
Jnawali, S., Leus, K., Molur, S., Glatston, A. and Walker, S. 2012. Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens) in Nepal. A population and habitat viability assessment (PHVA) and species conservation strategy (SCS). Workshop report.
Joshi, R.M. and Sangam, K. 2011. Potential habitat, estimated population and hot spot of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in the Bhotkola Area, Sankhuwasabha District, Nepal. Unpubl. Document for The East Foundation.
Kandel, K., Huettmann, F., Krishna Suwal, M., Regmi, G.R., Nijman, V., Nekaris, K.A.I., Sonam Tashi Lama, Thapa, A., Sharma, H.P. and Subedi, T.R. 2015. Rapid multi-nation distribution assessment of a charismatic conservation species using open access ensemble model GIS predictions: Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in the Hindu-Kush Himalaya region. Biological Conservation 181: 150–161.
Mahato, N. 2004. Baseline survey of Red Panda Ailurus fulgens in the buffer zone of Sagamartha National Park. Report for WWF Nepal Program, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Mahato, N.K. 2010. Distribution of the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens, Cuvier, 1825), in Nepal based on a predictive model. Masters thesis for Texas State University.
Mallick, J.K. 2010. Status of the Red Panda Ailurus fulgens in the Neora Valley National Park, Darjeeling District, West Bengal, India. Small Carnivore Conservation 43: 30–36.
Northrop, L.E. and Czekala, N. 2011. Reproduction of the Red Panda. In: A.R. Glatston (ed.), Red Panda, biology and conservation of the first panda, pp. 125–146. Academic Press, London, UK.
Panthi, S., Aryal, A., Raubenheimer, D., Lord, J. and Adhikari, B. 2012. Summer diet and distribution of the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Nepal. Zoological Studies 51: 701–709.
Pradhan, S., Saha, G.K. and Khan, J.A. 2001. Ecology of the Red Panda Ailurus fulgens in the Singhalila National Park, Darjeeling, India. Biological Conservation 98: 11–18.
Prater, S.H. 1948. The handbook of Indian Animals. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay, India.
Princee, F.P.G. and Glatston, A.R. in prep. Influence of climate on the survivorship of neonatal Red Pandas in captivity.
Roberts, M.S. and Gittleman, J.L. 1984. Ailurus fulgens. Mammalian Species 222: 1-8.
Roka, B. and Jha, A.K. 2014. Census of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) at Singalila National Park and its surrounding area, Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. Zoo’s Print 29: 11–14.
Sharma, H.P. 2008. Distribution and conservation status of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in Rara National Park, Nepal. Final report to People's Trust for Endangered Species.
Sharma, H.P., Belant, J. and Swenson, J.E. 2014. Effects of livestock on the occurrence of the vulnerable Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in the Rara National Park, Nepal. Oryx 48: 228–221.
Sowerby, A. de C. 1932. The pandas or cat-bears. China Journal 17: 296-299.
Stapleton, C.M.A. 1996. Himalayan bamboo and its conservation; a case study. In: C.S. Gurkal and V. Sharma (eds), Changing perspectives of biodiversity status in the Himalayas, pp. 39–42. British Council, New Delhi, India.
Subedi, T. and Thapa, A. 2011. Habitat status and distribution of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, Nepal. Proceedings of Second Seminar on Small Mammals Issues: 17–24.
Than Zaw, Saw Htun, Saw Htoo Tha Po, Myint Maung, Lynam, A.J., Kyaw Thinn Latt and Duckworth, J.W. 2008. Status and distribution of small carnivores in Myanmar. Small Carnivore Conservation 38: 2–28.
Wei, F. and Zhang, Z. 2011. Red Pandas in the wild in China. In: A.R. Glatston (ed.), Red Panda, biology and conservation of the first panda, pp. 375–392. Academic Press, London, UK.
Wei, F., Feng, Z., Wang, Z. and Hu, J. 1998. Assessment on the current status of the Red panda in China. Small Carnivore Conservation 18: 1-4.
Wei, F., Feng, Z., Wang, Z. and Hu, J. 1999. Current distribution, status and conservation of wild Red Pandas, (Ailurus fulgens, in China. Biological Conservation 89: 285–291.
Wei, F., Feng, Z., Wang, Z. and Hu, J. 2000. Habitat use and separation between the Giant Panda and the Red Panda. Journal of Mammalogy 81: 448–455.
Wei, F.W., Traylor-Holzer, K., Leus, K. and Glatston, A. 2014. Red Pandas in China Population and Habitat Viability Assessment workshop final report. IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Apple Valley, MN, USA.
Wei, F., Zhang, Z. and Liu, Z. 2011. Conservation initiatives in China. In: A.R. Glatston (ed.), Red Panda, biology and conservation of the first panda, pp. 409–418. Academic Press, London, UK.
Williams, B.H. 2003. Red Panda in Eastern Nepal; how do they fit into the biological conservation of the Eastern Himalaya? Conservation Biology in Asia 16: 236–250.
Williams, B.H. 2004. Status of the Red Panda in Jamuna and Mabu villages of eastern Nepal. San Jose University.
Yonzon, P.B. 1989. Ecology and conservation of the Red Panda in the Nepal-Himalayas. University of Maine.
Yonzon, P.B. and Hunter, M.L. 1991. Conservation of the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens). Biological Conservation 57: 1–11.
Yonzon, P.B., Yonzon, P., Chaudhary, C. and Vaidya, V. 1997. Status of the Red Panda in the Himalaya. Resources Nepal, Kathmandu and Metropolitan Toronto Zoo Project, Toronto, Canada.
Yonzon, P., Jones, R. and Fox, J. 1991. Geographic Information Systems for Assessing Habitat and Estimating Population of Red Pandas in Langtang National Park, Nepal. Ambio 20(7): 285–288.
Zhang, S.L., Ran, J.H., Tang, M.K., Du, B.B., Yang, Q.S. and Liu, S.C. 2008. Landscape pattern analysis of Red Panda habitat in Liangshan Mountains. Acta Ecologica Sinica 28: 4787–4795.
Zhou, X., Jiao, H., Dou, Y., Aryal, A., Hu, J., Hu, J. and Mang, X. 2013. The winter habitat selection of Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) in the Meigu Dafengding National Nature Reserve, China. Current Science 105: 1424–1429.
Ziegler, S., Gebauer, A., Melisch, R., Sharma, B.K., Ghose, P.S., Chakraborty, R., Shrestha, P., Ghose, D., Legshey, K., Pradhan, H., Bhutia, N.T., Tambe, S. and Sinha, S. 2010. Sikkim - Im Zeichen des Roten Panda. Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoos 53:(2): 79–92.
|Citation:||Glatston, A., Wei, F., Than Zaw & Sherpa, A. 2015. Ailurus fulgens (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T714A110023718.Downloaded on 24 February 2018.|
|Feedback:||If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided|