Illegal Trade of Red Panda
- 09 Mar 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
The trade monitoring network TRAFFIC has released a report titled “Assessment of illegal trade-related threats to Red Panda in India and selected neighbouring range countries” recently.
- The report has analysed poaching and illegal trade of the species for the ten-year period from July 2010 to June 2019.
- The red panda survival is crucial for the eastern and north-eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests and the eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests.
- The animal has been hunted for meat and fur, besides illegal capture for the pet trade.
- An estimated 14,500 animals are left in the wild across Nepal, Bhutan, India, China and Myanmar.
- The report has indicated that the traditional demand for red panda meat and related products has reduced over time.
- Also, the reduction in poaching and illegal trade of red panda is indicative of the success of awareness campaigns about the conservation of the species.
- Community-based conservation and protection for the species as its habitat stretches across remote areas.
- Trans-boundary law enforcement co-operation through the use of multi-government platforms like SAWEN (South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network).
- SAWEN was formally established at an inter-governmental meeting hosted in Paro (a town in Bhutan) by the Royal Government of Bhutan, in January 2011.
- It aims to establish multilateral collaboration to fight wildlife crime in the region.
- The red panda is a small reddish-brown arboreal mammal.
- The only living member of the genus Ailurus.
- It is also the state animal of Sikkim.
- It is listed as Endangered in the IUCN red list of Threatened Species and under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- It is found in the forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan and the northern mountains of Myanmar and southern China.
- It thrives best at 2,200-4,800m, in mixed deciduous and conifer forests with dense understories of bamboo.
- In India, About 5,000-6,000 red pandas are estimated to be present in Sikkim, western Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling district of West Bengal and parts of Meghalaya.
- This is the second-largest population after China (6,000-7,000).
- Red pandas have been reported from 11 districts of Arunachal Pradesh, which is presumed to hold the largest red panda population in the country.
TRAFFIC – The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network
- TRAFFIC is a leading non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
- It is a joint program of WWF and IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature created in 1976.
- TRAFFIC focuses on leveraging resources, expertise and awareness of the latest globally urgent species trade issues such as tiger parts, elephant ivory and rhino horn.