Red Panda Day
Celebrate “the original panda” – and the one-and-only Idgie the red panda – on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Join us for a day packed with interactive activities highlighting this endangered species, and learn more about the challenges Idgie’s counterparts face in the wild.
Stay tuned for more details on Red Panda Day activities at Zoo Atlanta.
Why do red pandas need our help?
The Eastern Himalayan Broadleaf and Conifer (EHBC) forest is threatened by road-building, illegal timber harvest, over-grazing, and slash and burn agriculture. The World Wildlife Fund has listed it as a “Global 200” threatened ecoregion, and Conservation International has identified the EHBC forest as part of the “Himalayan Hotspot” due to its unique biodiversity. The red panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) is the landscape species for the EHBC ecoregion, and is nearly extinct in the western part of its range.
Across all countries, fewer than 10,000 (by some estimates, fewer than 2,500) red pandas remain in the wild. Additionally, many aspects of actual distribution and possible extinction in areas still mapped as suitable are poorly understood. Thus, by assessing the status of and threats to red pandas, conservationists can develop strategies to protect this threatened ecoregion. The most important interventions are focused on working with the local population to address deforestation.
In 1999 and 2010, Himalayan conservation experts concluded that the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Corridor along the eastern Nepal-Indian border should be the highest priority for conservation because it provides a corridor between the Kanchenjunga Conservation Area in Nepal and the Barsay Rhododendron Sanctuary in India (Red Panda PHVA 2010, Wikramanayake et al. 2001).
Want to learn more about the red panda?