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Panda Updates – Monday, September 16

Today I thought I would talk about red pandas and their role as an umbrella species and indicator species – a topic you might remember reading from one of my more recent panda updates! But first, I’d like to briefly talk about a region that red pandas call home. 

Red pandas can be found throughout parts of China as well as south Asia. Throughout south Asia are rivers and forests that are important for the survival of a variety of organisms. One particular region that is known as an “biodiversity hotspot” is the Eastern Himalayan Broadleaf Forest. A “biodiversity hotspot” basically means that this particular region contains a lot of different species as well as endemic species like the rufous-throated wren-babbler. (Endemic means these animals are restricted to this particular area.) Some of the species that are native to this area are wild dogs, golden langurs, clouded leopards and tigers. 

When conservation efforts like sustainable forest practices are enforced to protect red pandas in this region, other animals that call the same region home are also protected. Not only do red pandas serve as an umbrella species, but they are also considered an “indicator species,” meaning that by knowing how the red panda populations are doing in that area, we can also determine the health of the Himalayan Broadleaf Forest. This region of the world is vital to protect for the variety of species that call it home, as well as the people who live in surrounding regions that rely on the overall health of the waterways and forests in order to thrive. 

If you’d like to make a positive impact for red panda conservation, please check out the Red Panda Network in the link below!


Amanda D.
Keeper I, Mammals

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl