- Singalila National Park is located on the Singalila Ridge at an altitude of more than 7000 feet above sea level, in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal.
- It is well known for the trekking route to Sandakphu that runs through it.
- The Singalila area in Darjeeling was purchased by the British Government from Sikkim Durbar in 1882, and notified a Reserve Forest under the Indian Forest Act 1878.
- It was notified as a National Park in 1992 and was also officially opened up for tourism.
Why introduce Red Panda?
- The number of red pandas has been declining in the wild, even in the Singalila and Neora Valley National Parks, the two protected areas where the mammal is found in the wild in West Bengal.
- Recent studies estimate that there are 38 of them in Singalila and 32 in Neora.
- The zoological park who is at the centre of the Red Panda Augmentation Programme.
- Conservation breeding of red pandas is only one part of the programme.
About Red Panda
IUCN Red List: Endangered
- The red panda (Ailurus fulgens), also known as the lesser panda, is a small mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.
- It was first formally described in 1825.
- The red panda inhabits coniferous forests as well as temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, favouring steep slopes with dense bamboo cover close to water sources.
- It is solitary and largely arboreal.
- It feeds mainly on bamboo shoots and leaves, but also on fruits and blossoms.