Red Panda at Choyatar Community Forest, photo credit Sonam Tashi Lama
Like the Asian Elephant, the Red Panda is an endangered mammal native to the Eastern Himalayas and Southwestern China. Habitat loss from deforestation and poaching remains the root causes of its endangerment. Red Pandas — part of the bear family — are more threatened with extinction than their relatives in China — the Giant Panda. Pandas are Musteloids, a superfamily of carnivoran mammals that include wolverines, raccoons and weasels. They weigh between 7-33 pounds, are great climbers, and feed on fresh bamboo shoots and leaves, and their blossoms and fruits.
There are two subspecies — the Himalayan and the Chinese red panda — and they diverged genetically about 250,000 years ago. The Himalayan Red Panda is found in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet, and lives in both coniferous and temperate broadleaf forests. The Nepalese tea farm we source from is connected to the Red Panda Network. The Network is part of several community-based conservation programs in Nepal to help recover the species.
The tea farm nestles at the foothills of Mt. Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. This is the forested habitat of the Red Panda. Given the higher elevation, the tea produced yields a soft, sweet, flowery flavor — a balance of light, air and the water coming off the Himalayas.
Your purchase of our tea with the Red Panda Network symbol supports sustainable economic practices for the people in this mountainous region. This in turn promotes conservation activities protecting the eastern Himalaya habitat of these threatened animals.