A team of SWS rangers and herders, led by Mr Kesang Dorjee from the Species Conservation Section at Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary traversed the project area twice during December 2016. They fixed five camera traps in potential Red Panda habitat.
After the lapse of 37 days they checked the cameras and found photographs of Goral, Serow, Barking Deer and Monkey but no sign of Red Panda yet. There are several possible reasons for this;
1) the bamboo (leaf) which is the primary source of Red Panda’s diet especially during winter season are dead and new sprouts of bamboo is yet to come. Red pandas will return when there is enough bamboo feed.
2) the cameras have white flash which may disturb sensitive animals such as Red Panda. Ten infrared cameras have been ordered and will be installed during spring.
3) the project area comprises a mosaic of forest, opened grazing ground and landslips. As the disturbed area has increased over the years, it may be limiting red panda movements even though there have been sightings by herders and rangers.
Watch this space as we report on findings over spring and summer!