- Project name: Spatial prioritization for the conservation of endangered Red Panda in Sikkim Himalaya
- Project site: Sikkim, Eastern Himalayas, India
- EDGE species: Red panda Ailurus fulgens
- Active: 2019 - ongoing
Moumita is studying for a PhD in Wildlife Science from Saurashtra University, in affiliation with the Wildlife Institute of India. She is currently carrying out field research to investigate red panda ecology in the Sikkim Himalayas.
Moumita sees the Fellowship as an much-needed source of funding and resources for red panda conservation in a country where conservation attention for the species is negligible. Personally, she also sees it as an opportunity to build on her existing familiarity with the species and study area and her relationships with local stakeholders to standardise the survey techniques and sampling methods to eventually scale up to country-wide assessment. She hopes that the Fellowship will give her the ‘edge’ she needs to gain the necessary funding and expert assistance to meet the conservation goal for the species.
Moumita’s project aims to understand and evaluate the species-habitat relationship of red panda across both protected areas and non-protected areas of the Sikkam Himilayas. Her objectives are to:
- Assess the habitat suitability of red panda in the Sikkim Himalayan landscape
- Assess the relationship between red panda and people in the habitat
- Identify the priority areas for the conservation of the red panda in Sikkam based on knowledge gained from the first two objectives
- Work with stakeholders to develop a sustainable approach towards a red panda conservation strategy
- Raise awareness amongst local communities of red panda and habitat conservation