Experts Prove China’s Red Panda Theory Wrong
INDIA : Country to the previously held belief that only one species of red panda is found in India, Indian scientists have established that the country is home to both the Himalyan Red Panda (HRP) and the Chinese Red Panda (CRP). In doing so they have also countered a Chinese study published in February 2020 which claimed that CRP is not present in India.
Indian scientists, in this breakthrough study based on the DNA from faecal samples collected over a span of three years, have said that two phylo-genetic (sub-species) of HRP and CRP exist in the country.
The study was published in Nature (Scientific Reports) as well as in German Society of Mammalian Biology last week.
The study paper has been jointly authored by Zoological Survey of India’s director Dr Kailash Chandra and with seven other Indian scholars. The paper makes a revelation that the red panda actually diverged into the Chinese and the Himalayan sub-species about 0.3 million years ago.
The red panda has lost 50% of its population in the last 20 years and now only 2500 individuals survive in the wild in India, China Tibet, Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan.