India counters China on red pandas DNA finds Himalayan and
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NEW DELHI: Contrary to the beforehand held perception that just one species of pink panda is present in India, Indian scientists have established that India is residence to each the Himalayan Red Panda (HRP) and the Chinese Red Panda (CRP).
In doing so that they have additionally countered a Chinese examine revealed in February 2020 which claimed that the CRP will not be current in India.
Indian scientists, on this breakthrough examine primarily based on the DNA from faecal samples collected over a span of three years, have mentioned that two phylogenetic (sub-species) of HRP and CRP exist within the nation.
The examine was revealed in Nature (Scientific Reports) in addition to in German Society of Mammalian Biology final week.
The Indian scientists have additionally contradicted China claims, saying it’s the Siang river in Arunachal Pradesh that’s the potential boundary or geographic that divides the 2 sub-species after inspecting the DNA samples from the Indian Himalayan Region.

A Himalayan pink panda. The faecal samples of this species was discovered to be in north west Bengal and confirmed by DNA examine by Indian students of Zoological Survey of India.
The Chinese examine, by scientist Yibo Hu, had claimed that Yalu Zangbu river close to Tibet was the geographic barrier that led to divergence of pink panda species into two varieties.
“We collected 132 faecal samples — 29 from north-west Bengal, 28 from Sikkim and 75 from Arunachal Pradesh. Genomic DNA was extracted…sequencing was performed…We also downloaded 44 complementary sequences of red panda available in the public domain,” mentioned Dr Mukesh Thakur, scientist, ZSI. In distinction, the Chinese examine analysed solely 18 samples from Nepal. Indian scientists discovered that DNA samples of pink pandas in Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh matched with these of CRP.


“Samples collected from Dibang valley have been really positioned on the east of Siang river, indicating this identical river in Arunachal Pradesh has been the potential barrier of species divergence in pink panda,” the examine famous.
“A couple of research reported that enormous rivers usually operate as barrier within the distribution and gene move of the arboreal and small mammals. Thus, incidence of a Chinese Red Panda in Dibang in AP that lies on the east of Siang river was in accordance to the truth that Siang river is a possible geographic barrier in a number of species together with Hoolock Gibbon, Stump tailed macaque, Pigtailed macaque..” the examine factors out.
“Further, Yalu Zangbu river descends from 4500 to 3000 m and surrounding vegetation changes from cold desert to arid steppe to deciduous scrub vegetation and this further changes into a conifer and rhododendron forest when enter to Arunachal Pradesh, India32. Thus, changes in the mentioned topographic features and habitat types often influence the distribution and movement of animals across the river. Hence, it is imperative to mention the Siang River, the regional stretch of Yalu Zangbu River in western Arunachal Pradesh, India is responsible to hinder the movement of red panda across the range….” it notes
The Himalyan Red Panda was discovered to be energetic largely on the west of Siang river as established from samples collected from Darjeeling, Sikkim, south Tibet, western and central Arunachal Pradesh and “concludes that we have presence of both sub-species,” Thakur instructed TOI.
Their analysis paper in Nature, titled Geological and Pleistocene glaciations additional explains the demography and disjunct distribution of pink panda in japanese Himalayas.
The paper that has been collectively authored by ZSI’s director Dr Kailash Chandra together with seven different Indian students additionally makes a startling revelation that the pink panda really diverged into Chinese and Himalyan species at about zero.three million years in the past.
“That corresponds to the middle-late Pleistocene transition (ice age)…”it states.
The examine within the Nature journal additionally takes a swipe on the Chinese declare that the Chinese pink panda had low genetic variations.
In their work, the Indian scientists discovered that the inhabitants of CRPs in Dibang Valley has genetically diverged thrice and the HRP had additionally diverged twice at zero.17 million years in the past and zero.12 million years in the past.
“Recently, Hu (Chinese scientist), demonstrated the presence of two phylogenetic species, the Himalayan pink panda (Ailurus fulgens ) and Chinese pink panda (Ailurus styani) and proposed that Yalu Zangbu river has been the potential boundary of species divergence27. Their examine sequenced 18 samples from Nepal, and inferred that it sufered from three historic bottlenecks (adopted by a small enlargement consequently imparting low genetic variety) …… In distinction, we didn’t observe a low genetic variation in management area of DNA,” the Nature examine by Indian scientists states.
Indian scientists state that Dibang inhabitants of panda, being within the japanese fringe of Siang river developed with CRP species and additional diverged into three diferent lineages.
They additionally say that even Himalyan Red Panda diverged about zero.17 million years in the past (mya) throughout the Penultimate glaciation and apparently the people of KL inhabitants emerged independently about zero.12 mya.
The scientists additional said that their examine additionally discovered that the HRP inhabitants in Kanchenjunga landscape-India (KL) had declined abruptly within the final 5-10 thousand years on account of environmental modifications.
The pink panda has misplaced 50% of its inhabitants within the final 20 years and now solely 2500 people survive within the wild in India, China, Tibet, Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan.
“Red panda conservation requires the involvement of multi-agency coordination and countries,” mentioned Chandra.


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