Endangered Red Panda at risk with forest fire ravaging wildlife habitat

TAPLEJUNG: The endangered wildlife species Red Panda has come under risk with its grazing land and habitat turning into ashes.

The fire that broke out in and around the forest areas of Pathibara region in Taplejung district has posed serious threat to the existence of the already endangered Red Panda. Forest officer of Division Forest Office, Fupumyabu Sherpa, said the inferno that spread around six days ago has destroyed around 90 hectares of forest in Pathibara.

Sherpa said that the loss could not be assessed right now as the fire is still spreading.

There are eight to 11 proper grazing land and habitat of Red Panda in the block stretching over 80 hectares in Pathibara region, shared Ramesh Rai, programme coordinator of Himali Samrakshyan Manch, an organisation working in Red Panda conservation. The fire has destroyed the wildlife habitat. Some of the Red Pandas were able to escape the fire while some were burnt alive, Rai further shared.

The fire engulfed Fawakhola forest and Sikaicha zone in Pathibara region which was life threatening for the wildlife. Locals along with Nepal Army, Nepal Police, and Armed Police Force are making efforts to douse the forest fire.