The red panda has little commercial value in live animal and fur trades, but still faces threats by humans.
The red panda seems to have little commercial value and is of little economic importance in live animal and fur trades, but still faces threats by humans. Red panda is taken for various purposes including wild meat, medicine, pelts and pets. Levels of offtake are not well documented; nor are trends in offtake or geographical patterns of harvest and use. It has been suggested that the rising numbers in the internet pet trade in China are captive-bred, but this remains to be confirmed.
Reports of red panda poaching and smuggling seem to be increasing, perhaps through demand in China. Red panda carcases and skins have been spotted in villagers’ homes in eastern Myanmar. One hunter was witnessed catching a red panda with his hands; apparently these villagers regularly take red pandas. Wildlife trade is rampant in Myanmar, (about 30 tons of wildlife products per month,) facilitated by wildlife habitat proximity to the Chinese border. Before the red panda was upgraded to Appendix I of CITES, (Convention on the International Trade in Threatened and Endangered Species,) in the early 1990s, individuals captured in Myanmar were traded by China to zoos around the world.
The species is protected in India, Bhutan, Nepal, and China.
• Image | © Mathias Appel, Public Domain, (CC0 1.0)
• Sources | (Glatston, Wei, Than Zaw, & Sherpa, 2015; Roberts & Gittleman, 1984)