international red panda day

International Red Panda Day: Saving One of the Planet’s Cutest Critters

The Red Panda Network organizes International Red Panda Day on the third Saturday of September. Since 2010, this global event has raised awareness and promoted efforts to protect this endangered species.

International Red Panda Day spreads awareness about wildlife diversity and calls us to act on conservation efforts. It brings attention to red pandas' existential threats, such as habitat loss and illegal wildlife trade. 

Shining a light on these harsh realities, the event promotes solidarity and action to prevent the species from becoming extinct. Read on to learn more.

Featured in: September - Awareness Months, Days & Observances.

History and Background

red panda on branch
Photo by Pexels on Pixabay

In 2010, the non-profit Red Panda Network established International Red Panda Day to educate people about endangered animals and protect them. Since then, the day has grown into a global event, with over 100 zoos worldwide participating in 2019. 

This recognition day has helped promote red panda culture and spread red panda conservation efforts, such as habitat restoration and anti-poaching measures.

Brian Williams, the founder of the Red Panda Network, has spearheaded the awareness day. He led the "Forest Guardian" initiative in Nepal in 2014, which involved educating locals on protecting red panda habitats.

Find out more about these adorable creatures through our Red Panda Facts.

The Cause and Its Challenges

red panda front view
Photo by ambquinn on Pixabay

Red pandas are unique animals with lovely reddish-brown fur and charming features. Sadly, they face a population decline in their natural habitats in the Himalayan highlands of China and Nepal. 

For instance, they are losing their habitat due to persistent deforestation by humans1. Humans are cutting down trees for timber and clearing land for agriculture, shrinking the red pandas’ living space, fragmenting their population, and limiting their ability to find mates. 

Besides deforestation, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade endanger red pandas. Due to their unique fur and bushy tails, red pandas are hunted to make clothes like hats.

Despite being listed as 'Endangered' on the IUCN Red List and being legally protected in their native countries, the struggle continues. Poor enforcement and weak regulations fail to deter those who threaten their survival. 

Nevertheless, the red pandas continue their fight. And we should join them.

3 Facts On Why International Red Panda Day Matters

  1. IUCN classifies red pandas as endangered animals2 due to a 50% population decline over the last three generations.
  2. With less than 10,000 mature red pandas remaining in the wild, there is cause for concern for the red panda. As a result of climate change, red pandas move uphill to find a home in a harsher climate and scarcer forest cover. 
  3. Red pandas are essential to forest health, contributing to new plant growth by dispersing seeds through their droppings. A decline in their numbers could affect the biodiversity of their entire habitat.

Efforts and Initiatives

The Red Panda Network (RPN) has developed a unique initiative called the Forest Guardian program. 

This program is a safety net for red pandas and benefits local communities, transforming farming from a threat into a protection source. Local farmers and herdspeople now help defend red pandas from extinction.

Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has also launched a groundbreaking project in Nepal's Langtang National Park. This project aims to study the lives of these creatures, chart their numbers, and reveal the dangers that threaten them.

Moreover, the Chinese government has established sanctuaries in the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. A Red Panda Museum also exists in Hong Kong, which hosts themed art exhibitions and the like.

These programs and reserves allow red pandas to rebound and flourish in their natural habitats.

How to Get Involved and Support International Red Panda Day

red panda on zoo
Photo by sharonang on Pixabay
  • You can learn about these creatures and their habitat challenges while enjoying a day out at the local zoo or wildlife center.
  • Symbolically adopting your very own red pandas through conservation groups like the WWF and the Red Panda Network is also an option.
  • You can also join events like a Red Panda Exhibit or a Special Red Panda Weekend, complete with unique Red Panda Icons. Zoos also host events like the Illumination for Conservation by Ross Park Zoo in New York. This festival highlights red pandas and the need to protect them.
  • Likewise, it would help if you watched a red panda documentary or read a book to learn more about these animals. Or attend a Red Panda Zookeeper talk in your local zoos.
  • Be a red panda ranger by using the hashtag #RedPandaDay in your posts to spread awareness through social media.
  • Finally, you can write to your local representatives, urging them to implement strong wildlife conservation laws. 
  • Volunteering at conservation organizations or your local zoo or organizing fundraising events such as fun runs, charity auctions, or bake sales can also contribute to the cause. 


International Red Panda Day draws attention to the red panda’s plight, calling everyone to help protect these animals from becoming extinct. Arming ourselves with knowledge, we should take action to secure their future.

We support conservation groups and share information to spark a more significant change. Lastly, celebrating Red Panda Day should influence our decisions for the red pandas and the whole biodiversity.

International Red Panda Day FAQs

1. What is International Red Panda Day?

It is an annual event celebrated on the third Saturday of September to raise awareness about red pandas and support their conservation.

2. Why are red pandas endangered?

Red pandas suffer from habitat loss, illegal hunting, and climate change.

3. How can I help red pandas?

Support conservation organizations, spread awareness, and make sustainable choices in your daily life.

4. Where can I see red pandas in the wild?

Red pandas are native to the Himalayas. They live in Nepal, India, Bhutan, and China.

5. Are red pandas related to giant pandas?

While they might share a name, red pandas are not closely related to the giant panda. They belong to another family called Ailuridae.

Pin Me:
Pin Image Portrait International Red Panda Day: Saving One of the Planet’s Cutest Critters

Dorji, S., Vernes, K., & Rajaratnam, R. (2011). Habitat correlates of the red panda in the temperate forests of Bhutan. PLoS ONE, 6(10), e26483.


Glatston, A. R., Wei, F., Than Zaw, & Sherpa, A. (2015). Ailurus fulgens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T714A45195924.

Mike is a degree-qualified researcher and writer passionate about increasing global awareness about climate change and encouraging people to act collectively in resolving these issues.

Fact Checked By:
Isabela Sedano, BEng.

Photo by Philippe Oursel on Unsplash
Sign Up for Updates
Copyright © 2023 TRVST LTD. All Rights Reserved
US Flag
100 North Point Center E, Ste 125 #A262, Alpharetta, GA 30022, USA.
UK Flag
7 Bell Yard, London, WC2A 2JR, United Kingdom.