Red panda (Ailurus fulgens)
The Red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is listed as ‘endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List) since its evaluation in 2015, and is continuing to decline due to habitat loss by deforestation and habitat fragmentation, which also increases vulnerability of the species to predators.
The Red Panda has been managed under a Global Masterplan since 1993 and formally within Australasia since 1996. The centralisation of various subregional populations under one single genetic management strategy was considered essential and now reports against the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), Global Species Management Plan (GSMP). Australiasian Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) is a member of the WAZA and reports directly to them on the Australasian Population Management Program.
In Australia, access to the Red Panda is only through ZAA and the requesting organisation is to be a fully accredited member before consideration is given.
A risk assessment has been undertaken for the Red panda. The assessment concluded that the risk posed by importing Red panda into Tasmania is moderate.As part of the import assessment process and following the initial risk assessment consideration was given to possible mitigation to reduce the risk associated with importing Red pandas.
These measures could include:
- Restricting importation to only wildlife parks or zoos to ensure the holding facility meets the stringent keeping standards of New South Wales, which Tasmania has applied consistently across all wildlife parks, in the absence of National Guidelines.
- Requiring any wildlife park or zoo to ensure that the wildlife park is secured by a lockable perimeter fence that meets Australian Standards and the Standards for Exhibiting Animals in NSW.
- Requiring any wildlife park or zoo to submit a Red panda Species Management Plan (including enclosure details) prior to import.
- The wildlife exhibition facility can clearly demonstrate they have proficient keepers for that particular species.
It should be noted that in the past the Department’s standard procedure for considering the importation of animals was essentially that most species that were assessed as ‘moderate risk’ would be permitted into the State with appropriate mitigation measures. The mitigation measures essentially are enforced through the Exhibition Licence and hence in the past, licenced exhibitors have generally received approval for importation of animals assessed as ‘moderate risk’.