Scientists from the Zoological Survey of India concluded that India is home to two (sub)species of Himalayan red panda (Ailurus fulgens) and Chinese red panda (Ailurus styani).
♦ The Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh divides the red panda into these two phylogenetic species.
♦ Until 2020, the red panda was considered a monotypic species, until scientists studied its genetic composition in terms of its geographic distribution and described the occurrence of these two species.
♦ The reason for the decrease in the population of Himalayan red pandas is due to geological and climatic oscillations, because during the last glacial period and the Pleistocene, repeated cycles of wetlands and dry periods exposed the landscape to more severe topographic and geological changes.
♦ It is considered to be an indicator of ecological changes. The red panda is a shy, lonely and arboreal animal. It mainly feeds on bamboo and avoids human activities.
♦ The comprehensive protection of this ecologically sensitive species requires the joint efforts of national and international stakeholders and the full awareness of local communities.
♦ The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is a mammal which is found in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. Listed as an endangered species in the IUCN Red List Threats: habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and decline of close relatives. Despite its name, it has little to do with giant pandas