Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Research Article Open Access

Breeding behavioral activities of captive red pandas in Nepal

Heena Maharjan, Hari Prasad Sharma, Ramji Gutam, Rachana Shah, Chiranjibi Prasad Pokharel, Jerrold L. Belant

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The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) population is decreasing, with less than 10,000 individuals in the wild because of habitat destruction, fragmentation, and illegal hunting. Captive breeding has become an increasingly crucial strategy for conserving endangered species, but efforts to generate self-sustaining populations have failed despite ample resources being allocated. Animals are often stressed in captivity, and it is necessary to examine reproductive behavior relating to the complexity of habitat requirements, dietary preferences, and, in particular, pregnant mothers and their sensitivity to disruptions. Using videography, we observed the reproductive behavior of two Red pandas along with other behavioral activities in the Central Zoo, Lalitpur, Nepal. We collected behavioral data from December 2020 to June 2021 using scan and focal sampling. Reproductive behaviors (including scent-marking, allogrooming, chasing, running, aggressiveness, mating, and feeding feces) were observed, along with behaviors like locomotion, climbing, standing, self-grooming, feeding, sleeping, self-play, and stretching. We observed 1-2% of reproductive behavior from total activity. Copulation was attempted on three occasions suggesting reproduction can be successful if animal husbandry is properly managed. We recommend zoo managers further refine strategies for captive breeding endangered species such as Red pandas. Successful captive breeding benefits the zoo, and captive-born animals can mitigate extinction in the wild.


behavior, breeding, captivity, endangered species, Zoo


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