In doing in order that they have additionally countered a Chinese examine printed in February 2020 which claimed that the CRP is just not 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 printed 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 had been truly situated on the east of Siang river, indicating this similar river in Arunachal Pradesh has been the potential barrier of species divergence in pink panda,” the study noted.
“A few studies reported that large rivers often function as barrier in the distribution and gene flow of the arboreal and small mammals. Thus, occurrence of a Chinese Red Panda in Dibang in AP that lies on the east of Siang river was in accordance to the fact that Siang river is a potential geographic barrier in several species including Hoolock Gibbon, Stump tailed macaque, Pigtailed macaque..” the study points 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 found to be active 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 told TOI.
Their research paper in Nature, titled Geological and Pleistocene glaciations further explains the demography and disjunct distribution of red panda in eastern Himalayas.
The paper that has been jointly authored by ZSI’s director Dr Kailash Chandra along with seven other Indian scholars also makes a startling revelation that the red panda actually diverged into Chinese and Himalyan species at about 0.3 million years ago.
“That corresponds to the middle-late Pleistocene transition (ice age)…”it states.
The study in the Nature journal also takes a swipe at the Chinese claim that the Chinese red panda had low genetic variations.
In their work, the Indian scientists found that the population of CRPs in Dibang Valley has genetically diverged thrice and the HRP had also diverged twice at 0.17 million years ago and 0.12 million years ago.
“Recently, Hu (Chinese scientist), demonstrated the presence of two phylogenetic species, the Himalayan red panda (Ailurus fulgens ) and Chinese red panda (Ailurus styani) and proposed that Yalu Zangbu river has been the potential boundary of species divergence27. Their study sequenced 18 samples from Nepal, and inferred that it sufered from three historic bottlenecks (followed by a small expansion consequently imparting low genetic diversity) …… In contrast, we did not observe a low genetic variation in control region of DNA,” the Nature examine by Indian scientists states.
Indian scientists state that Dibang inhabitants of panda, being within the jap 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 0.17 million years in the past (mya) through the Penultimate glaciation and curiously the people of KL inhabitants emerged independently about 0.12 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 adjustments.
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.