Geological and Pleistocene glaciations explain the demography and disjunct distribution of red panda (A. fulgens) in eastern Himalayas

Supriyo Dalui, Sujeet Kumar Singh, Bheem Dutt Joshi, Avijit Ghosh, Shambadeb Basu, Hiren Khatri, Lalit Kumar Sharma, Kailash Chandra, Mukesh Thakur
2021 Scientific Reports  
AbstractPleistocene glaciations facilitated climatic oscillations that caused for enormous heterogeneity in landscapes, and consequently affected demography and distribution patterns of the mountain endemic species. In this context, we investigated demographic history and population genetic structure of red panda, distributed along the geographical proximity in the southern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Bayesian based phylogeny demonstrated that red panda diverged about 0.30 million
more » ... t 0.30 million years ago (CI 0.23–0.39) into two phylogenetic (sub) species, that correspond to the middle-late Pleistocene transition. The observed intraspecific clades with respect to Himalayan and Chinese red panda indicated restricted gene flow resulting from the Pleistocene glaciations in the eastern and southern Tibetan Plateau. We found Himalayan red panda population at least in KL-India declined abruptly in last 5–10 thousand years after being under demographic equilibrium. We suggest revisiting the ongoing conservation activities through cross border collaboration by developing multi-nationals, and multi-lateral species-oriented conservation action plans to support the red panda populations in transboundary landscapes.
doi:10.1038/s41598-020-80586-6 pmid:33420314 fatcat:x2o3sjp3u5amhhgbx2m74rk5mu