Posted on January 15 2018
All about red pandas or why do we care so much?
We’ve probably all heard of red pandas, right? (In case you haven’t, SPOILER ALERT, they look nothing like the giant panda!) Solitary, gentle and secretive, red pandas are considered to be one of the most elusive creatures of the animal kingdom. Probably one of the most gorgeous animals too! They are impossibly cute, spending most of their time sleeping on the trees, curled up with their fluffy tail wrapped around their head... There is one major problem though. Their numbers have been reduced to the point that today they are on the verge of becoming completely extinct.
It is estimated that there may be as few as 2500 red pandas left in the wild. In order to understand how this happened, it is crucial to understand the ecosystem in which this gorgeous creature, also referred to as the ‘firefox’, exists. Red pandas live in mountain forests of Eastern Nepal, including some regions of India and China, yet today it is considered to be an endangered species and its numbers continue to decline. One of the main causes of such dramatic population decrease are the loss of habitat driven by human development, such as deforestation for livestock, agriculture and the consequent disappearance of bamboo (red pandas adore tender bamboo shoots and leaves), followed by hunting and poaching for fur trade. As a result of these actions, red pandas became one of the most threatened animals on our planet.
Why Red Panda Network is so important
Since 1997, amazing people behind Red Panda Network have been working hard to protect wild red pandas and their natural habitat through education programmes and local community empowerment. Red Panda Network is a unique conservation group that conducts crucial scientific research to reveal the distribution of red pandas as well as the quality of their natural habitat, it runs community-based conservation programmes to facilitate habitat protection and restoration as well as it organises education projects to raise awareness of red pandas’ crucial role in the ecosystem of Eastern Himalayas. These fantastic initiatives led to increased awareness of the state of red pandas in local communities as well as more responsible forest use. Today Red Panda Network has been successful in developing a network of community-based conservation and monitoring ambassadors whose duty is to patrol vulnerable forests. 80% of all donation Red Panda Network receives go directly to managing these sustainable development activities that are so crucial for the survival of these fluffy ginger creatures.
It’s not too late to make a difference
There are so many ways all of us can help protecting wild red pandas and their natural habitat. Here at ArtoFoxo we think that red pandas are awesome and their habitat deserves to be treated with respect. Thus, this January and February we will be partnering with and donating a share of out profits to Red Panda Network to support their fantastic conservation initiatives.
If you would like to learn more about Red Panda Network, make a donation yourself or find out how you can get involved in their conservation projects, please visit their amazing website. You can also learn more about our monthly partnerships with animal charities here.
On behalf of all those red pandas left in the wild, we say huge thank you!