The International Red Panda Day(IRPD) is annually celebrated on the third Saturday of September which aims to create and raise awareness about the red panda among the general public and to support the conservation of red pandas.
The International Red Panda Day 2020 falls on 19th September 2020.
i.The Red Panda Network(RPN) with the support of Nicki Boyd, Associate curator of Behavioral Husbandry for the San Diego Zoo launched the International Red Panda Day(IRPD) in 2010.
ii.The first international red Panda day was celebrated on 18th September 2010.
i.The international Red Panda Day is observed to save these red pandas which are at the brink of extinction due to poaching, destruction and fragmentations of its natural habitat and inbreeding depression.
ii.The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUNC) has classified the red pandas as endangered species.
About Red Pandas:
i.There are two distinct species of red pandas Ailurus fulgens fulgens commonly known as Himalayan Red Panda and Ailurus fulgens styani commonly known as Chinese Red Panda, these are mostly found in the Eastern Himalayan region and southwestern China.
ii.These reddish brown furry solitary animals are also known as lesser panda, red bearcat, red cat bear.
iii.Genetically the red pandas belong to the order of carnivora, but mostly eat bamboo shoots, mushrooms etc and also eat birds, eggs, and insects.
iv.The average lifespan of these red pandas is 23 years and the female pandas stops breeding after the age of 12.
Events of IRPD:
The events of the IRPD focuses on supporting the Red Panda Network(RPN) to create more Red Panda Rangers, the title awarded to children who contribute to spread awareness about the red pandas.
Steps for conservations:
i.The Eastern Nepal have established the PIT Red Panda Protected Forest, the world’s first protected area dedicated to the red pandas.
ii.RPN launched its efforts to eliminate the illegal trade of red pandas, to educate the general public on the needs for the red pandas to remain wild and to reduce the demand of red pandas in the illegal trade.