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Everything About Red Panda

Context:

The Singalila National Park, the highest protected area in West Bengal, will soon wild Red Panda.

Relevance:

GS III- Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Red Panda
  2. About Singalila National Park
  3. Why introduce Red Panda?

About Red Panda

  • The Giant Panda and the Red Panda are the only two distinct panda species found in the world.
  • It serves as Sikkim’s official animal as well.
  • Red pandas are timid, lonely, arboreal creatures that are used as indicators of ecological change.
  • Both (sub)species are found in India.
    • Himalayan red panda (Ailurus fulgens)
    • Chinese red panda (Ailurus styani)
  • The two phylogenetic species are split by the Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It can be discovered in the jungles of India, Nepal, Bhutan, as well as the northern mountains of Myanmar and the southern provinces of China.
Protection Status:

Red Pandas:

  • IUCN Red List: Endangered
  • CITES: Appendix I
  • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule I

Giant Pandas:

  • IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
  • CITES: Appendix I

About Singalila National Park

  • Singalila National Park is located on the Singalila Ridge at an altitude of more than 7000 feet above sea level, in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal.
  • It is well known for the trekking route to Sandakphu that runs through it.
  • The Singalila area in Darjeeling was purchased by the British Government from Sikkim Durbar in 1882, and notified a Reserve Forest under the Indian Forest Act 1878.
  • It was notified as a National Park in 1992 and was also officially opened up for tourism.

Why introduce Red Panda?

  • Even in Singalila and Neora Valley National Parks, the two protected locations in West Bengal where the mammal is found in the wild, the number of red pandas has been falling.
  • According to recent surveys, there are 32 in Neora and 38 in Singalila.
  • The Red Panda Augmentation Programme is centred on the zoological park.
  • Red panda conservation breeding is just one aspect of the approach.

-Source: The Hindu


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