Red Panda Bear Facts – Description
- The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is also called lesser panda and red cat-bear.
- Red pandas are about 42 inches long, including a long, bushy tail.
- They weigh between 7 and 14 pounds.
- The red panda is slightly larger than a domestic cat.
- Their red-and-white markings blend in with the red mosses and white lichens that grow on the trees in which they live.
- The legs are black and short with thick fur on the soles of the paws which serves as thermal insulation on snow-covered or ice surfaces and conceals scent glands which are also present on the anus.
- Red pandas use their long, bushy tails to balance when they’re in trees.
- Red pandas cover themselves with their tails in winter.
- It has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs.
- It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.
Red Panda Bear Habitat
- Red pandas live in the cool temperate bamboo forests in Sichuan, Yunnan, and Xizang provinces in China, in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal and Bhutan, and in northern Myanmar.
- They share part of their range with giant pandas.
- The red panda lives between 2,200 and 4,800 meters (7,200 and 15,700 ft) altitude, inhabiting areas of moderate temperature between 10 and 25 °C (50 and 77 °F) with little annual change.
- It prefers mountainous mixed deciduous and conifer forests, especially with old trees and dense understories of bamboo.
Red Panda Bear Diet
- Red pandas primarily eat bamboo leaves and fresh shoots, as well as berries, blossoms, bird eggs, and various plants’ small leaves.
- They have a small, bony projection on their wrists that helps them grip bamboo stalks.
- Giant pandas also have this thumb-like adaptation.
- They search for food running along the ground or through the trees.
Red Panda Bear Behavior
- The red panda is territorial and marks its space by making with urine and a weak musk-smelling secretion from their anal glands.
- The panda is solitary except during mating season.
- The species is generally quiet except for some twittering, tweeting, and whistling communication sounds.
- It has been reported to be both nocturnal and crepuscular, sleeping on tree branches or in tree hollows during the day and increasing its activity in the late afternoon and early evening hours.
- The panda is very heat sensitive, with an optimal “well-being” temperature between 17 and 25 °C (63 and 77 °F), and cannot tolerate temperatures over 25 °C (77 °F).
Red Panda Bear Sounds
Red Panda Bear Predators
- Predators of the red panda include the snow leopard, martens, and humans.
- If they feel threatened or sense danger, they may try to escape by climbing a rock column or tree.
If they can no longer flee, they stand on their hind legs to make themselves appear larger and use the sharp claws on their front paws to defend themselves.
Red Panda Bear Reproduction
- Red pandas are able to reproduce at around 18 months of age, and are fully mature at two to three years.
- Adults rarely interact in the wild except to mate.
- The red panda has a naturally low birth rate, usually single or twin births per year.
- Both sexes may mate with more than one partner during the mating season from mid-January to early March.
- A few days before birth, females begin to collect material, such as brushwood, grass, and leaves, to build a nest, which is normally located in a hollow tree or a rock crevice.
- The gestation period lasts about 134 days.
- The female gives birth in mid-June to late July to one to four blind and deaf cubs weighing 110 to 130 g (3.9 to 4.6 oz) each.
- Young stay in the nest for about 90 days and remain close to their mother until the next mating season begins, and reach adult size at about 12 months.
- Males rarely help raise the young, and only if they live in pairs or in small groups.
- Adult red pandas lead solitary lives.
Red Panda Bear Facts Lifespan
- The average lifespan of the red panda bear is between 8 and 10 years, but individuals have been known to reach 15 years.
Red Panda Bear Conservation
- Red pandas are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because of habitat loss.
- There are fewer than 10,000 adult red pandas, with a decreasing population trend.
- The population continues to decline and is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation and poaching.
- Small groups of animals with little opportunity for exchange between them face the risk of inbreeding, decreased genetic diversity, and even extinction.
- The red panda is protected in all range countries, and hunting is illegal.
IMAGE SOURCES: #1, 3 and 4: Facebook: Hamilton-Zoo
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