Everything You Need to Know About Red Pandas
Scientific Name: Ailurus fulgens
Typical Weight: 8-12 pounds
Height: 22-25 inches
Tail: 15-18 inches
Food Preference: Omnivore
Age: 12-15 years old
- Red Pandas can be found in the forests of the Himalayan Mountain range and the surrounding forests near Nepal, Bhutan, Parts of India and China. The elevations of the areas between these countries can range anywhere from 5000 up to 13000 feet high. The temperature is typically cold and remains so throughout the year. The Forests also host areas of bamboo growth which the Red Panda relies on heavily in order to survive. They usually live and travel alone but when matting season comes around, the body takes over and the search for a mate begins. During their alone time, they can found in the tops of trees resting and taking in the sunshine for that necessary warmth. The trees also provide good camouflage from predators as they are usually covered in Red Moss and White Lichens.
- The Fur color of the Red Panda is reddish/brown with a black underbelly and legs. The hairs are long and rough while the undercoat is soft and thick. The Face has a mixture of white and red color with the tips of the ears being white and various parts of the face being white, especially around the nose and mouth. The tail is long and furry while also hosting a repeating pattern of dark and light rings. The tail functions as a balance weight when travelling on uneven terrain or across tree tops as well as an insulator; by wrapping it around the body for warmth. The paws host semi retractable claws used to either climb trees or as tools for defense against larger predators. Predators be warned.
- Bamboo makes up almost 95% of their diet. More specifically, they focus on the leaf tips and the shoots of the bamboo. The rest of the diet includes many sources such as grass, roots, seeds, fruits, insects and small birds and mammals (rodent). The scarcity of the creatures living around the red Panda and the lack of nutritional value found in the rest of their diet, makes bamboo the go to food. Or, the taste is preferred over all the other options, either way we have a happy Panda.
Status: ENDANGERED (AT RISK OF EXTINCTION)
- Unexpectedly, this cute and elusive creature is at risk of extinction and continues to be so even now. Deforestation has played a key role in their decreasing numbers as thousands are forced to leave their homes and slowly succumb to the elements of their harsh environment. Poachers look to kill the Red panda for its unique fur while hunters target them for the challenge or something equally as unwarranted, nevertheless the result is the same and thousands die each year.
If you want to learn more on what efforts are being taken to insure this beautiful creature continues to have a home, visit https://www.worldwildlife.org/ or the many other organizations dedicated to the conservation of nature. The world is filled with unique and beautiful creatures of all shapes and sizes and i hope that continues to be the case in the future