Red Panda is a raccoon-like mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. These animals are from the family Ailuridae under the order Carnivora. Moreover, it is the only living species of the genus Ailurus. It is popularly known as lesser panda, panda, red cat-bear, or red bear-cat. Initially, Red pandas were placed under raccoon and bear families but after proper phylogenetic analysis, its original family was found. These pandas are not closely related to the giant panda.
These pandas are endemic to the temperate forests of the Himalayas that lies in the foothills of western Nepal to east China. These creatures have reddish-brown fur, long tail, waddling gait and it roughly looks like in the size of domestic cats. Then the length of these animals measures 50 to 64 cm and its tail is 28 to 59 cm. The weight of male red panda is 3.7 to 6.2 kg and female is 3 to 6.0 kg which means male pandas are quite bigger and stronger than female. It is listed as an endangered animal by IUCN Red List and the reason for population decline is habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, illegal hunting, and inbreeding depression.
Scientific name: Ailurus fulgens
Conservation status: Endangered (Population decreasing) Encyclopedia of Life
Size: 50 to 64 cm and its tail – 28 to 59 cm
Mass: Male 3.7 to 6.2 kg & Female 3 to 6.0 kg
Species of Red Panda
As per the research, it was found that there are two recognized subspecies of red pandas that come under the family Ailuridae.
Ailurus Fulgens Fulgens
The subspecies were found in the western part of its range, in Nepal, Assam, Sikkim, and Bhutan. They are also called as the Western red panda.
Ailurus Fulgens Styani
The second Subspecies of red panda lives in the region of the east to north-eastern part of its range, in southern China and northern Burma. These creatures are known as Styan’s red panda.
Red Panda Cost
As this species comes under endangered animals by IUCN, the cost of these creatures are not mentioned.
Conservation of Red Panda
Since 2008, these animals were listed under the endangered animals by IUCN Red List. The total habitat of red pandas is around 142,000 km2 and the observation of these creatures is very difficult because of its shy, secretive nature and largely nocturnal habits. The main loss of these animals is inbreeding depression, poaching, and habitat fragmentation.
Interesting Facts about Red Panda
- Red Pandas are arboreal (animal lives in trees) and carnivorous. They mainly eat bamboos but some times they also eat eats eggs, birds, and insects.
- The wild population of Red Panda is around 10,000. Over the last 50 years due to habitat loss, the population of these pandas decreased by as much as 40 percent.
- These animals were protected by the law of their country where they originated and protected by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). So buying, capturing & killing Red Pandas are illegal.
- Red Panda is a territorial animal and they are solitary except during mating season. For communication, these species use some sounds like twittering, tweeting, and whistling.
- These animals are like both nocturnal and crepuscular, which sleeps on tree branches or in tree hollows in the day time. It will be active in the late afternoon and in early evening hours. As they are heat sensitive, during the hot season they sleep on the tree.
- The creatures are used for local cultural ceremonies, bridegroom, red panda-tail hats and more. Red Pandas were mainly hunted for its bushy tails.
- The mating season of these animals is in the mid of January to early March. During the season both males and females may mate with more than one pair. Before giving birth, females will collect some brushwood, grass, and leaves to build their nest. Apart from the breeding season they normally live in a hollow tree or a rock crevice.
- It will take approximately 112 to 158 days, to give birth and it gives birth to one to four blind and deaf cubs. The weight of each cub is around 110 to 130 g.
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