Red Panda Conservation Action Plan for Langtang National Park and Buffer Zone Nepal 2010-2014



Posted on 03 March 2011  | 
Nepal is home to approximately 1.9% of the total global population of the red panda, which is estimated on the basis of habitat suitability index model. Langtang National Park (LNP) shares 24.33% of Nepal's total red panda population. The ecology of the red panda is poorly known due to its elusive behavior and restricted distribution in inaccessible, remote areas. In Nepal, the animal is patchily distributed within altitudinal range between 2,500 m and 4,000 m from east to west in temperate and sub-alpine zones. Based on anecdotal evidence, study reports, sightings and signs, the presence of the red panda has been confirmed in eight mountain Protected Areas of Nepal, covering approximately 38% of the total potential red panda habitat in the country.

Long-term initiatives are needed for the conservation of the red panda. The Government of Nepal (GoN) has listed it a legally protected animal and has a provision of imposing penalty with a fine of NRs 40,000-75,000 and/or an imprisonment of 1 to 10 years in jail for any person found guilty of killing, buying and selling its body parts.

The population of red panda in Langtang faces threats predominantly from livestock grazing and other human induced activities such as the collection of fuel-wood, timber, mushrooms, Jhapra shoots, and other non timber forest products (NTFPs) by local herders, hotel operators, pilgrims, etc. These human induced activities are leading to the degradation of red panda habitat. The main problem of Chauri grazing is the trampling of Jhapra which reduces regeneration.

These human induced activities pose great challenges to red panda conservation. This sitespecific red panda conservation action plan realizes that conservation efforts are limited by scant information on red panda ecology; perhaps more importantly due to the methodological limitations.

This conservation action plan is a synthesis of available literature, monitoring activities, field studies including extensive consultation meetings with local communities, Goth (cattle herders) committees, policy makers and organizations involved in wildlife conservation and habitat management. The goal of conservation action plan is to develop LNP as a prime red panda conservation area in the Sacred Himalayan Landscape (SHL) with a viable population in a scientifi cally managed habitat. In order to achieve this goal, the following fi ve major objectives have been devised:

1. Update scientifi c information on red panda ecology and conservation in LNP,
2. Scientifi cally manage the natural habitat of the red panda in LNP,
3. Enhance and promote awareness of red panda conservation,
4. Formulate conducive policies and legal framework for red panda conservation and,
5. Develop partnerships for red panda conservation.

For the implementation of the action plan an estimated (total) amount of NRs 2,35,05,000 will
be required, which will be generated from governmental and non-governmental organizations
(national and international), private sectors, community based organizations, Goth committees
and local governments.
Red Panda Conservation Action Plan 2010-2014
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