Red pandas can be found in the rainforests of most countries in Asia. These are mostly the Himalayan areas with bamboo in them.
This is just the same with most Indian forests, and I wonder – Are red pandas found in India?
Yes, red pandas are found in India. Aside from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, and China, red pandas are also native to India. However, their origin in India is still not yet known.
In India, they usually live in the wild dense forests. These forests are both deciduous and coniferous with lots of bamboo within them.
Having known that India is one of the homes of these creatures, you might be interested to know where exactly they stay. So, where are red pandas found in India?
Keep reading below to find out!
Where are Red Pandas Found In India?
Red pandas are found living in the Himalayan region of India. Here you’ll find them in the forests of Sikkim, Darjeeling district (West Bengal), Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, and Assam.
Aside from living in the forest in the wild, they also live in conservation centers in India. So, if you want to spot the red panda with ease in India, you can see them in any of these National parks in India:
- Khangchendzonga National Park
- Neora Valley National Park
- Singalila National Park
- Nokrek National Park
- Namdapha National Park
- Balphakram National Park
Learn more about the red panda habitat: Where Do Red Pandas Live?
How Many Red Pandas are There in India?
As estimated by the IUCN, the total number of red pandas in India is about 5,000-6,000. Luckily, these creatures are not yet extinct but are on the red list of endangered species.
Unfortunately, their population is still reducing as they face many threats that endanger them in their habitats. Human activities have contributed to endangering the red pandas.
Some of these activities cause habitat loss, which is the major thing that endangers them in India. These activities are:
- Human encroachment
Also, these creatures suffer a lot of trafficking in the world. India is not an exemption to the places that practice it.
They practice many illegal activities like poaching and the pet trade. These activities kept on reducing the population of these animals in India.
Even with the conservation efforts, these creatures still face a lot of harm.
However, WWF India aims at securing the habitat of these creatures outside the protected zones in places like Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Also, another goal of this organization is to lessen the threats that affect the red panda population,
What Kind of Panda is In India?
The red panda! It might surprise you to know that red pandas are of two species – the Himalayan red panda and the Chinese red panda.
Physically, the Himalayan red pandas are smaller and lighter in color than the Chinese red pandas. They also have more white fur on their faces.
In addition, the Himalayan red pandas are the kind you’ll see the most in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
On the other hand, the Chinese red pandas are common in China and Myanmar.
Also, the other pandas, the giant pandas or panda bears, are not anywhere in India at all. Both the red panda and the giant panda are lovers of bamboo but are not relatives at all.
The closest relatives to red pandas are the raccoons and skunks, while the giant pandas belong to the bear family. You’ll see them more in China, which is their native home.
However, as you read further you’ll get to know why you can see only the red pandas in India.
Why Are There Only Red Pandas in India?
Red pandas are the only pandas you’ll see the most in India. This is not just an area you can spot them but one of their native homes.
Also, giant pandas are native to China only. So, for India to have one, it must be as a loan from China.
However, China has leased out giant pandas to many Asian countries and India doesn’t have any yet in their zoos.
China carefully checks to know if the country can handle the giant pandas before releasing the creatures to them. So, looking at the economy of India, keeping a giant panda in their zoo is quite expensive.
This way, they might not be able to take care of the giant pandas. This might be the reason China hasn’t let any in India yet.
Recommended Reading: Where is the Giant Panda Found in India?
In summary, you can find red pandas in India. They are protected species of the Indian government and live both in the wild and in captivity.
Unfortunately, you can not find any giant pandas in India.
The red pandas, mostly the Himalayan species, are the only type of pandas you can find in this country.
The presence of bamboo in India makes such an area suitable for its survival.
Many illegal activities in India have kept on decreasing the population of these cute creatures.
However, certain laws have been made to help reduce these threats, especially that of poaching and the pet trade.
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