DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
Asia. From Nepal to Myanmar (Burma) and west China. Red panda lives in cool and temperate forest areas, dominated by thick bamboo, in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Red panda spends most of the day in the tree. During the day, it shows little activity: usually moves at dawn and dusk, sleeping most of the day. Red panda starts “day” by licking its front paws, then move on to cleaning the fur all over their body in a cat pose while sitting in a tree.
Red panda is mainly herbivores, eating bamboo, roots and nuts, but it will occasionally eat insects and small rodents too. Panda’s jaw is strong and teeth and forelimbs are specially adapted for crushing bamboo shoots and leaves, which make up 95% of their diet.
Breeding season takes place from January through April. Just a few days before giving birth, the expectant mother begins to build a birthing den in a hollow tree, stump, or rock crevice, lining it with twigs, leaves, grass, moss, and small branches. Mom keeps her cubs hidden in the den, and for their first 7 to 10 days, the cubs’ only activity is nursing.
GOOD TO KNOW
Red pandawas discovered by biologists 50 years before the great panda, that is in 1825. It is much smaller (adults weigh at most 5 kg) and little less recognisable than the great panda.
- Latin name: Ailurus fulgens
- IUCN –Red List – EN – endangered
- CITES – Appendix I
- EEP – European Endangered Species Programme