- Location: Red Panda Network Headquarters is in San Francisco, United States. Local offices in Nepal.
- Founded: 2005 by Brian Williams (originally as Red Panda Project).
- Species: Red panda
- Projects: The Red Panda Network is committed to conserving wild red pandas and their habitat through the education and empowerment of local communities.
Table of Contents
What is Red Panda Network?
Red Panda Network is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 2005 by a group of Red Panda enthusiasts with a mission to protect Red Pandas and their habitats. Red Pandas are one of the world’s most endangered animal species, with about 1000 left in the wild.
The Organization has established mountain forest corridors and continuously establishing wildlife corridors as safe havens for the species and provides care for Red Pygmy Giant pandas at its five centers across China as well as in Nepal.
The organization manages giant panda reserves on leased farmlands on what used to be some of the poorest lands in rural western China, supporting sustainable farming practices.
Outside these areas, they teach local community members how to coexist with pandas on more than 300 acres of farmland by farming scare tactics such as orchards and bamboo fences instead of traditional methods such as burning and bush-clearing.
Red Panda Network also works with small community-based reserves in Sichuan, providing support to local rangers and the surrounding communities through conservation and economic development initiatives.
In addition, Red Panda Network collaborates with many other organizations and active partners that supported red panda network in Nepal and across China, providing Red Panda events and activities for these other Organizations.
The outstanding conservation organization also provides Red Panda-based events that are made available to schools and non-profit organizations internationally, such as online photo contests and Red Panda-themed coloring pages.
These Red Pandas reside in zoos or wildlife reserves to help ensure their safety from poaching attacks. When they do go out in the wild, Red Panda Network monitors them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also relocate Red Pandas that are in danger or threaten their safety in specific regions.
See Related: Giant Panda
Red Panda Network’s Mission
Red Panda Network is a non-profit dedicated to Red Pandas in Nepal.
Their mission is to conserve Red Pandas and their habitat through conservation, research, education, and community empowerment. Red Panda Network works with local communities in endangered Red Panda habitats throughout Nepal, including community-run Red Panda Sanctuaries.
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Research is the first step to design conservation programs and create benchmarks to see the effectiveness of our programs.
At Red Panda Network, our objective is to conduct initial non-invasive, cost-effective status surveys in all five range countries (Nepal, India, Bhutan, Burma, and China) by the end of 2015, with research programs already established in the Panchthar, Ilam, and Talejung areas of Nepal.
Red Panda Network created a community-based program to train “forest guardians” (local stewards) to implement survey and monitoring methodology with RPN’s guidance and technical assistance. This flagship program is known as Project Punde Kundo (a local name for red panda).
Intending to train at least 12 forest guardians a year, The organization continued to meet this goal for the last 5 years and on. This program is crucial to our success because it creates real ownership by local villagers and is the base from which Red Panda Network conducts theiractivities.
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Red Panda Conservation
We are community-based and focus on partnering with local non-profit partners in each of our working areas to implement our programs which produce greater conservation impacts with our funding.
Through research, we identify unprotected wild red pandas habitats with viable red panda populations of 100 individuals or more. The organization work to stop the illegal red panda trade, promote red panda conservation programs, and conduct community based monitoring for red pandas.
We put together action plans and identify forest guardians to conduct awareness-building workshops on red pandas with local villages. Also, in schools and to serve as a basis for continuing the Red Panda Network’s baseline research and monitoring.
We are training the “forest guardians” and other community members to be ambassadors of conservation.
We provide capacity building for alternative income and resource use sources, such as more fuel-efficient wood stoves and solar power—also medicinal plant production as highly productive cash crops, eco-tourism, etc.
This creates an appreciation of the value of the forest and wildlife, and it enables communities to protect them.
Using this methodology, we are in the process of establishing our first community-based protected area, the Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung (PIT) Red Panda Protected Forest, in the Panchthar and Ilam districts of eastern Nepal.
This region is one of the most biologically diverse areas globally, critical to the survival of red pandas and other endangered species, including the clouded leopard and leopard cat and an exceptionally rich avifaunal diversity.
However, this area is most important to the red pandas because it contains approximately 25% of Nepal’s red panda population (approximately 100 individuals found in 178 km² of habitat).
And the Singhalila ridge red panda population is protected in only half of its range (in India’s Singhalila National Park).
The proposed Panchthar-Ilam-Taplejung Red Panda Protected Forest will be the largest “protected forest” in Nepal and the first to be managed by a network of community forests.
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From local villagers of red panda range countries who use red panda habitat for their survival to the general public in developing countries, few people are aware of the plight of the red panda.
The Red Panda Network’s first goal is to raise awareness in local villages surrounding red panda habitat. Our second goal is to raise awareness in the general public worldwide.
We spread awareness through providing “forest guardian” workshops in the local villages, developing a middle-school curriculum for red panda environmental education, promoting youth involvement through our “Red Panda Ranger” program.
Enabling fundraising programs, publishing educational materials for zoos and schools, and working with zoos worldwide to gather information and events, especially for International Red Panda Day (third Saturday of September, annually).
The Red Panda Network kindly provides program descriptions.
See Related: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Is Red Panda Network Legit?
Yes, Red Panda Network is an organization that supports the Red Panda’s conservation. Red pandas are considered to be “critically endangered animals”. Red Pandas live only in the Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests of Nepal, Bhutan, China, and India, with small groups of individuals extending into Tibet.
Through the Red Panda Network’s conservation efforts in local and global scales (such as reforestation), local partnerships (in schools, community wildlife clubs, and countless other projects) and innovative approaches to protection such as a hotline for reporting poaching incidents Red Pandas.
They have been making a bit more progress towards recovery though it still has a way to go before being considered anything but critically endangered.
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How to help
You can help Red Panda Network by donating, adopting a red panda, sponsoring a forest guardian, purchasing red panda merchandise, and visiting red pandas in the wild with RPN (eco-trips).