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Red Panda (Ailurus fulgenst), Sagarmatha National Park, Himalaya, Nepal
The red panda photograph has been taken in a bamboo-rich forest at a level of about 3,500 m above sea level in the Sargamarta (Mount Everest) national park in Nepal. The red panda can be seen as a well-known (but rarly seen in the wild) "flag-ship species" for the eastern Himalya. It has been classified as Vulnerable by IUCN because its population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals. Although red pandas are protected by national laws in their range countries, their numbers in the wild continue to decline mainly due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression.