Contrary to popular belief, life is not always black and white. And the same goes for pandas.
The giant panda is one of our most familiar animal icons, inextricably linked with conservation since it was adopted as a wildlife mascot by the newly established World Wildlife Fund in 1961.
Everyone loves a panda – and they have been lavished with the lion’s share of attention for more than half a century. In the meantime, their neglected namesakes have been languishing outside the conservation limelight.
Red pandas may look just as cute and cuddly as their monochrome counterparts, but appearances can be deceptive. They are feisty creatures, equipped with razor-sharp teeth and claws, and not averse to eating birds and small mammals. Although both species live primarily on bamboo, the two are not, in fact, closely related. The full-colour version is also in more urgent need of conservation attention; red pandas are officially categorised as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
In northern Myanmar’s Imawbum Massif – part of the eastern Himalayas – a decade of conservation work led by Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and our partners has been helping to rectify this imbalance.