Ailurus fulgens fulgensOther common names: "fire fox" and "lesser panda"
Status: Vulnerable - less than 10,000 individuals
Range & Habitat
Red pandas are found in Sichuan, Yunnan, and Xizang provinces in China, in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal and Bhutan, and in northern Myanmar. Red pandas prefer cool temperate bamboo forests.
Reproduction & Growth
Gestation will last approximately 130-134 days and litters can range from one to four young. Young will stay in the nest for around 90 days and remain with the mother until the next mating season. Red pandas reach adult size at about 1 year of age. The average life span in the wild is approximately 8 years.
The diet of a red panda is made up of mostly bamboo leaves and shoots, but they also will eat berries, insects, other small plant leaves and blossoms.
Red pandas will weigh seven to fourteen pounds and measure about 42 inches long including their tail. They are covered in soft dense fur over their whole body, including the bottoms of their feet. They use their tail to cover themselves in winter months and to balance themselves in trees. Their red and white markings provide camouflage in the trees; resembling the red mosses and white lichens. Red pandas have a bony projection on their wrist which helps to grasp bamboo, known as a false thumb.
Adult red pandas are usually solitary animals aside from short mating relationships. Red pandas behave like larger carnivores by having their home ranges overlapping, but with little to no interaction. Red pandas will search for the youngest bamboo shoots, usually more tender, which may only be found in patchy areas. Male's home ranges will be about double the size of females. Red pandas need to conserve energy so they will move slowly throughout their home ranges covering only about 25% per month. Red pandas will communicate with body language and a serious of noises.
Red pandas are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because of habitat loss. In North America, the red panda population management program is called the Red Panda Species Survival Program (SSP).
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