The red panda, classified as Endangered by the IUCN

The red panda, classified as Endangered by the IUCN - Culture's Ways

The red panda, also called the lesser panda and the red cat-bear, is a mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China.

 

What is the red panda?

The red panda has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs; it is slightly larger than a domestic cat. It is arboreal, feeds mainly on bamboo, but also eats eggs, birds, and insects. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.

The red panda has been classified as Endangered by the IUCN because its wild population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals and continues to decline due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression, although red pandas are protected by national laws in their range countries.

Threats

The primary threats to red pandas are direct harvest from the wild, live or dead, competition with domestic livestock resulting in habitat degradation, and deforestation resulting in habitat loss or fragmentation. The relative importance of these factors is different in each region, and is not well understood.
 For instance, in India, the biggest threat seems to be habitat loss followed by poaching, while in China, the biggest threat seems to be hunting and poaching. A 40% decrease in red panda populations has been reported in China over the last 50 years, and populations in western Himalayan areas are considered to be lower.

Conservation

The red panda is listed in CITES Appendix I. The species has been classified as endangered in the IUCN Red List since 2008 because the global population is estimated at about 10,000 individuals, with a decreasing population trend; only about half of the total area of potential habitat of 142,000 km2 is actually being used by the species. Due to their shy and secretive nature, and their largely nocturnal habits, observation of red pandas is difficult. Therefore, population figures in the wild are determined by population density estimates and not direct counts.

Worldwide population estimates range from fewer than 2,500 to between 16,000 and 20,000 individuals. In 1999, the total population in China was estimated at between 3,000 and 7,000 individuals. In 2001, the wild population in India was estimated at between 5,000 and 6,000 individuals. Estimates for Nepal indicate only a few hundred individuals.

Image: By 27707, CC0
Text: Wikipedia contributors. “Red panda.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Oct. 2017. Web.13 Oct. 2017.

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