• photo: Dr. Axel Gebauer

    Nepal: Conserving forests and red pandas

In Brief


Kangchenjunga Singhalila Complex in eastern Nepal 


The project aims to conserve red panda populations and their forest habitat by restoring degraded watersheds and promoting red panda stewardship among communities in Eastern Nepal. 

Conservation Value:

The red panda has been classified as Endangered by the IUCN because its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline.  The Kangchenjunga Singhalila Complex in eastern Nepal provides connectivity between protected areas in India and Nepal, is an important biodiversity hotspot of global significance and supports approximately 25% of Nepal’s Red Panda population, as well as Chinese Pangolins, Snow Leopards, and Himalayan Brown Bears. 


Habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding are all taking a toll on the red panda population in Nepal.  This species shows poor survival rates in fragmented habitat as they do not readily find new feeding grounds in a highly fragmented landscape and are exposed to other threats when crossing unsuitable habitat. Poachers pose a threat in Nepal and Myanmar to satisfy the Chinese demand for the species (as wild meat, for medicine and for skins) and smaller population fragments, such as in Nepal, can support little or no off-take.  A growing human population in the Eastern Himalayas means more people are moving into red panda habitat to pursue their livelihoods. 

photo: Michael Owyang

Actions & Results:

  • Hundreds of local people have been trained in forest monitoring, anti-poaching investigation, forest fire management, water source restoration, and nursery management. 
  • Red panda habitat is being restored by establishing nurseries and preventing forest fires. 
  • Four degraded ponds that provide water for wildlife and two community drinking water sources have been restored. 
  • Families were trained and equipped to produce bio briquettes— a micro-enterprise that decreases the need to harvest fuelwood from local forests. 
  • Other families were assisted in registering as homestay locations that provide lodging for ecotourists, and some individuals were trained as nature guides.  

Project Field Partner:

Red Panda Network in Nepal

Size of Area Involved:

174,035 hectares (430,050 acres)


ICFC costs in 2017-2018: $38,437

Support this project

Forest guardians

In More Depth...

Red panda video

This excellent 52-minute documentary provides an intimate view of a red panda mother-daughter family and other fascinating wildlife of the Himalayas.  ICFC's field partner Red Panda Network and its director Ang Phuri Sherpa are acknowledged in the film credits.

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