Phedi villagers want govt support in red panda conservation

- Dambar Singh Rai, KHOTANG
Phedi villagers want govt support in red panda conservation

Aug 2, 2015-

Villagers at Phedi VDC in Khotang district have been working towards conservation of red pandas in Bagale Community Forest, Chilim Lahure Pokhari Community Forest, Phungalung Community Forest and Chhimalung Community Forest. 

Chairman of Chilim Lahure Pokhari Community Forest Arun Rai said their initiative has paid off well as the number of red panda has increased over the years. According to his estimates there are now 100 red pandas living in the four community forests. Villagers said red pandas have also been spotted in Sishneharkate Community Forest of Chiuridanda VDC, Gopini Community Forest of Nirmalidanda VDC and Kopchebhalukhop Community Forest of Patheka VDC. 

Birkaji Rai, a local, said growth in the number of threatened species is a great incentive to the villagers, but they would feel more grateful if the authorities lent support in their conservation mission.  Mohan Acharya, the acting chief of District Forest Office, said the office does not have any specific plan to launch programmes to conserve red pandas so far. Local Development Officer Mahendra Kumar Sapkota also said that no one has raised the issue of red panda conservation in district council. 

An estimated 1,000 red pandas are found in Nepal. Nearly a dozen red pandas were found dead in Taplejung, Panchthar and other eastern districts last year. Conservationists had then said that parasitic infection was the possible cause of their death.

Published: 03-08-2015 08:41

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