They began tracking red pandas using drones and GPS – scientists want to understand the reasons why they are dying. The study will be conducted a year.
Conservationists have begun tracking red pandas using drones and GPS. They want to know more about the factors that lead to their extinction. Mammals that live in the eastern Himalayas and south-west of China are threatened with extinction, their number reaches several thousand.
Ten red pandas were equipped with GPS collars to monitor their habitat in the forests near Mount Kanchenjunga. Six more females and four males are tracked using camera traps. The study involved scientists, veterinarians, government officials, and the Red Panda Network conservation team.
“This is a big milestone in the conservation of the red pandas,” said Man Bahadur Khadka, Director General of the Forests and Soil Protection Department of Nepal. The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) was originally considered to be a relative of the raccoon due to the ringed tail, and later – the representative of bears.
In 2016, researchers found that they belong to their family and are one of the most evolutionarily different and endangered mammals in the world. One reason: the loss of forests in which animals take refuge. In addition, reducing the supply of bamboo for their food is a big problem for red pandas.
Nepal’s conservationists hope the study, which will be conducted over the course of the year, will provide valuable insight into how best to protect pandas.