Red Panda Facts
- Firstly, an important fact should be noted about the marvelous Red Panda. Although it is a related species, it does not bear a close relationship to be the much better-known Giant Panda.
- Most notably, the gorgeous animal actually represents the only species in its own family. However, others did exist previously, but have gone extinct. Yet, experts do recognize two known subspecies.
- Also, and quite sadly, the IUCN currently lists the magnificent creature as Endangered. This occurs primarily due to the fact that its known population now appears to total fewer than 10,000 individuals.
- Finally, it now faces numerous threats to its continued existence. While these include climate change and habitat loss, other factors also threaten it. This includes hunting and competing with local livestock for food.
Red Panda Physical Description
First of all, the marvelous Red Panda does not possess the sheer size of its better known relative. Further, in fact, the remarkable animal only grows to a size slightly larger than your average household cat.
That holds true due to the fact that it averages a head and body length of about 20 – 25 in 50 – 64 cm). In addition, its bushy tail adds an impressive average of around 11 – 23 in (28 – 59 cm), varying between individuals.
Also of note, this species displays only a very slight degree of sexual dimorphism. Therefore, both genders attain an average weight between 6.6 – 13.7 lb (3.0 – 6.2 kg). Yet females do sometimes remain slightly lighter than males.
Furthermore, its fur tends to grow relatively long, and also quite soft. The color of the upper part of the body generally shows a light reddish-brown. Meanwhile, the lower portions show black, and the face appears whitish.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Ailuridae
- Genus: Ailurus
- Species: A. fulgens
Red Panda Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Yet even there, its habitat preferences remain quite specific. These primarily consist of temperate forests. Also, the species generally inhabits altitudes ranging from 7,200 – 15,700 ft (2,200 – 4,800 m).
Further, the magnificent small mammal lives a principally solitary life. Adult individuals usually only come together during mating season. In addition, both genders tend to be quite territorial.
The animal also remains technically omnivorous. However, bamboo comprises by far the great majority of its diet. Yet individuals will on occasion consume birds, small mammals, flowers, eggs, and berries.
Finally, its natural predators mainly consist of the Snow Leopard and other larger carnivores in its range. Sadly, however, humans also pose a great threat, since locals often hunt it for its fur.