- Species: Ailurus fulgens
- Conservation status: Vulnerable
- Location: Himalayas, Myanmar and China
Cute Tree Dweller
Red pandas live in the cool temperate bamboo forests of China, the Himalayas, and Myanmar. They are arboreal animals – which mean that they spend most of their time in trees. Red pandas have red-and-white markings that blend in with the red mosses and white lichens that grow on the trees in which they live. Their soft, dense fur covers their entire body – even the soles of their feet. They use their long, bushy tails to cover themselves like a blanket in cold weather. The tails also help them to balance as they move about in trees. These cute animals have a waddling gait due to their shorter front legs.
A red panda is slightly larger than a domestic cat, and has a long, bushy tail. It weighs between seven and 14 pounds- about the weight of a little baby. The red panda eats mainly bamboo leaves as well as berries, blossoms, bird eggs, and small leaves. Its broad teeth and strong jaws allow it to chew the bamboo's tough leaves and stalks.
Red pandas are endangered due to hunting, deforestation from logging and to make room for agriculture. However, today, red pandas are protected by national laws in the countries in which they live. You can help by joining the Red Panda Network. Donations to the Red Panda Network are always welcome. You can also volunteer your time for various tasks related to a project that includes field research and monitoring.
Did You Know?
- Red pandas spend more than 85% of their time in trees.
- They can eat up to 200,000 bamboo leaves in one day.
- With enlarged wrist bones known as pseudo-thumbs red pandas can grasp their food efficiently.
- Red pandas have scent glands on the soles of their feet, to mark their trail.