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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 7, 2014

Status, abundance, and habitat associations of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) in Pangchen Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, India

  • Rajarshi Chakraborty EMAIL logo , Lham Tshering Nahmo , Pijush Kumar Dutta , Tanushree Srivastava , Kripaljyoti Mazumdar and Degin Dorji
From the journal Mammalia


The present study looked at the presence and distribution of red pandas in Pangchen Valley, Tawang District, Arunachal Pradesh, including parts of two Community Conserved Areas, based on the field studies carried out between 2009 and 2013. Priority areas were identified by conducting village interviews, followed by field surveys documenting presence-absence of red pandas (based on direct sightings, droppings, and feeding signs) and assessing their habitat status. A total of 183 plots were sampled, of which 74 (40.4%) showed red panda presence. The results show a healthy abundance of red pandas throughout the higher areas of the valley (sign encounter rate, 0.63/h) and their preference for areas above 2800 m elevation with dense bamboo cover of Arundinaria sp. and dominant trees such as Rhododendron sp. and Sorbus sp. with less understory. Their habitat extended till the higher mixed conifer forests dominated by Abies sp. Signs of recent human disturbance were minimal in the sampling areas, which reflected the strong conservation measures implemented by the local communities. Overall, Pangchen Valley was found to be extremely vital for the long-term conservation of the red pandas in the region and continued collaborative measures with the local community are required to safeguard their future.

Corresponding author: Rajarshi Chakraborty, WWF-India Western Arunachal Landscape Programme, Parvati Nagar, Tezpur, Assam 784 001, India, e-mail:


The authors wish to express their gratitude to Dr. Dipankar Ghose, Head, Species and Landscape Programme, WWF-India, for support and encouragement in the present work. Chief Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, and P. Ringu, DCF, Forest Department, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, are thanked for their support and for providing the necessary permits for the surveys. We want to thank Ambica Paliwal, WWF-India, for her GIS inputs and for creating the map. Dr. Anupam Sarmah, Head, Assam Landscape, WWF-India, is thanked for providing valuable inputs regarding identification of flora. Jaya Upadhyay, Sanjib Shil, and other colleagues at WWF-India Arunachal and Assam offices are thanked for their support and encouragement in the study. Finally, we would thank the community members of Pangchen Valley for sharing their immense knowledge and extending total help and support for the surveys.


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Received: 2013-7-9
Accepted: 2014-2-11
Published Online: 2014-3-7
Published in Print: 2015-2-1

©2015 by De Gruyter

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