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Article

Improved Trapping and Handling of an Arboreal, Montane Mammal: Red Panda Ailurus fulgens

1
School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
2
Red Panda Network, Baluwatar, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
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Rotterdam Zoo, Blijdorplaan 8, 3041 JG Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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Directorate of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Province no.1, Biratnagar 56613, Nepal
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Department of Forest and Soil Conservation, Babarmahal, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
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Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Babarmahal, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
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School of Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, West St, Darling Heights, QLD 4350, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Andrew W. Claridge
Animals 2021, 11(4), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040921
Received: 1 March 2021 / Revised: 17 March 2021 / Accepted: 20 March 2021 / Published: 24 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Wildlife)
Capture and handling is essential to study some biological and ecological properties of free-ranging animals. However, capturing an arboreal and cryptic species such as the red panda is challenging due to the difficult terrain, their elusive nature, and potential risks to human and animal safety. We developed and successfully tested a protocol for tracking, capture, immobilization, and handling of red pandas. This method could also be used, with some modifications, for other arboreal species. This study extends the known range of body weight and length of free-ranging red pandas. We also report some new morphometric data that could serve as a guide for field identification.
It is sometimes essential to have an animal in the hand to study some of their ecological and biological characteristics. However, capturing a solitary, cryptic, elusive arboreal species such as the red panda in the wild is challenging. We developed and successfully tested a protocol for tracking, trapping, immobilization, and handling of red pandas in the wild in eastern Nepal. We established a red panda sighting rate of 0.89 panda/day with a capture success rate of 0.6. We trapped and collared one animal in 3.7 days. On average, we took nearly 136 (range 50–317) min to capture an animal after spotting it. Further processing was completed in 38.5 (21–70) min. Before capture, we found it difficult to recognize the sex of the red panda and to differentiate sub-adults above six months from adults. However, body weight, body length, tail length, shoulder height, and chest girth can be used for diagnosis, as these attributes are smaller in sub-adults. Our method is a welfare-friendly way of trapping and handling wild red pandas. We report new morphometric data that could serve as a guide for field identification. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal handling; arboreal mammal; cage-trap; fencing-method; GPS collaring; immobilization; morphometric data; red panda trapping animal handling; arboreal mammal; cage-trap; fencing-method; GPS collaring; immobilization; morphometric data; red panda trapping
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bista, D.; Lama, S.T.; Weerman, J.; Sherpa, A.P.; Pandey, P.; Thapa, M.K.; Acharya, H.; Hudson, N.J.; Baxter, G.S.; Murray, P.J. Improved Trapping and Handling of an Arboreal, Montane Mammal: Red Panda Ailurus fulgens. Animals 2021, 11, 921. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040921

AMA Style

Bista D, Lama ST, Weerman J, Sherpa AP, Pandey P, Thapa MK, Acharya H, Hudson NJ, Baxter GS, Murray PJ. Improved Trapping and Handling of an Arboreal, Montane Mammal: Red Panda Ailurus fulgens. Animals. 2021; 11(4):921. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040921

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bista, Damber, Sonam T. Lama, Janno Weerman, Ang P. Sherpa, Purushotam Pandey, Madhuri K. Thapa, Haribhadra Acharya, Nicholas J. Hudson, Greg S. Baxter, and Peter J. Murray 2021. "Improved Trapping and Handling of an Arboreal, Montane Mammal: Red Panda Ailurus fulgens" Animals 11, no. 4: 921. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11040921

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