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Title: The Vulnerable red panda 'Ailurus fulgens' in Bhutan: distribution, conservation status and management recommendations
Contributor(s): Dorji, Sangay (author); Rajaratnam, Rajanathan  (author)orcid ; Vernes, Karl A  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1017/S0030605311000780
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Abstract: The red panda 'Ailurus fulgens' is categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. Pressurized by an expanding human population, it is mainly threatened by habitat destruction, with < 10,000 mature individuals remaining. The red panda has been studied in India, China, Nepal and, to a lesser extent, Myanmar, but no research has been published on this species in Bhutan. Here, we report on the current distribution and conservation status of the red panda in Bhutan using information gathered from field surveys, interviews and unpublished reports. Red pandas are most common at 2,400-3,700 m altitude in fir 'Abies densa' forests with an undergrowth of bamboo. They occur in most national parks and associated biological corridors within Bhutan's protected area network, overlapping with a rural human population that is undergoing increased socio-economic development. Although culturally respected, red pandas face threats from road construction, harvesting of timber, bamboo and minor forest products, livestock grazing, inefficiently managed tourism, and domestic dogs. We believe conservation of red pandas in Bhutan requires (1) inclusion of ecologically sound principles into future development, (2) implementation of programmes that improve rural socio-economy through ecotourism and cultivation of appropriate cash crops, (3) development of education programmes that raise awareness of red pandas for rural people, (4) management of rural dog populations, (5) greater capacity building for wildlife managers, and (6) more ecological research.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Oryx, 46(4), p. 536-543
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 1365-3008
Field of Research (FOR): 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
040699 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): 960810 Mountain and High Country Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

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