Red Panda

Dibang, Dec 20: Red Panda spotted in Mishmi Hills of Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Dibang Valley. An endangered species as per IUCN Red List, Red Panda is gentle and easily tamed.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu shared the glimpse on Twitter and wrote “Wildlife enthusiasts ~ Ipra Mekola, Ravi Mekola & Dhrubajyoti Borgohain spotted Red Panda on Dec 19 at Mayudia. Found usually in sub-Himalayan states of the Northeast, let’s protect #RedPandas. They’re the only species remaining in their taxonomic family. Saving them is important for the preservation of the world’s natural heritage and biodiversity.”

The red panda is a small arboreal mammal found in the forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan, and the northern mountains of Myanmar and southern China.

It thrives best at 2,200-4,800m in mixed deciduous and conifer forests with dense understories of bamboo, though red panda evidence has also been found at 1800m.

In India, this elusive species is found in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts of West Bengal. It is the state animal of Sikkim.

The Mishmi Hills region may be divided into wide sections: the flood plains of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra River, and the Arunachal Himalayas along with snow-capped mountains, decrease Himalayan ranges, and the Shivalik hills. Steeply sloping landforms, sub-tropical evergreen forest vegetation, and high rainfall characterize the area.

Also Read: Captive-bred Asian giant Tortoise re-wilded in Nagaland to bring species back from the brink

Nowhere else in the Himalayas can one find so much pristine forest and intact mega-biodiversity. The natural vegetation here stretches in an unbroken sequence from the sub-tropics to the mountain tundra.

Sub-tropical evergreen forests are the most severely altered in the Himalayas and the Mishmi area is one of the last strongholds for many species dependent on this forest type.

Mishmi hills endemic Rusty-throated Wren-Babbler or Mishmi Wren-Babbler was rediscovered here in 2004, known previously from a mist net specimen collected in 1947 by Salim Ali and S.D. Ripley.

There are about 680 bird species. Some of them are Sclater’s Monal, Blyth’s and Temmink’s Tragopan, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Rufous-necked Hornbill, pale-capped Pigeon, Ward’s Trogon, dark-sided Thrush, Green, and Purple Cochoa, Rusty-bellied and Gould’s Shortwing, Beautiful Nuthatch, Rusty-throated and Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, Fire-tailed Myzornis, at least four Parrotbill species, Black-headed Greenfinch, Scarlet Finch and Grey-headed Bullfinch.