The red panda population has fallen by an estimated 40% over the past 20 years. The species – which is endangered – faces several threats to its survival, but habitat loss and degradation are among the most significant. Thanks to your clicks, shopping for a cause, and contributions, we’ve been able to take some steps to address the issue.
Greater Good Charities recently teamed up with the nonprofit Red Panda Network (RPN) to plant native trees to help the red panda. The tree species chosen provide the animals with both shelter and food. The partnership has also allowed for the purchase of land for restoration in Eastern Nepal – one of the areas in which red pandas live – and fencing to protect tree saplings as they grow.
RPN says, “Habitat loss, quality degradation, and fragmentation are some of the major challenges for red panda conservation in Nepal. To overcome those challenges, consecutive plantation programs have been done in various patchy and barren spaces by RPN since 2015. Plantations conserve the forest we already have, and restore damaged forest to its healthy state.”
The projects have focused on private and degraded forest lands in core red panda habitat, with local nurseries providing saplings of native species. In project areas, RPN works with Community Forest Users Groups to take over management, protection, and utilization of the land.
Longterm, the goal is to reduce forest fragmentation and connect important red panda habitat areas in Nepal. There will also be ongoing monitoring of red panda populations and habitat, through camera traps. Data from the restored area before the project and data afterward will be compared to see how beneficial the work has been.
RPN says the work shouldn’t just help red pandas, either.
They explain, “There are numerous substantial benefits of a healthy thriving forest, revegetating the barren area with native species creating diverse terrestrial biodiversity is just one and the major objective of the plantation program. Reforestation is a long term commitment and requires multi year effort to reap its benefits.”
If you’d like to make a commitment to help endangered species, find out how you can below!