where does the red panda live now?

otherwise known as firefox, or the lesser panda

here's what it looks like:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thum...

3 Answers

Relevance
  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Red Panda, also called the Firefox[2], Fire Cat, Lesser Panda, or Ailurus fulgens ("shining cat"), is a mostly herbivorous mammal, specialized as a bamboo feeder. It is slightly larger than a domestic cat (40 - 60 cm long, 3 - 6 kg weight). The Red Panda is endemic to the Himalayas in Bhutan, southern China, Pakistan, India, Laos, Nepal, and Burma. Red Panda is the state animal in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the mascot of the Darjeeling international festivals. There is an estimated population of fewer than 2,500 mature individuals. Their population continues to decline due to habitat fragmentation.

    Red Pandas are classified as vulnerable. No reliable numbers exist for the total population but it is very threatened due to the fragmentation of its natural habitats, their small numbers, and their food specialization needs. In southwest China the Red Panda is hunted for its fur and especially for its highly-valued bushy tail from which hats are produced. In the areas of China, where the Red Panda lives, their fur is often used for local cultural ceremonies and in weddings the bridegroom traditionally carries the hide. The 'good-luck charm' hats are used by Chinese newlyweds.

    This, and the continuous clearing of the forests has significantly reduced the population. It is now protected in all countries in which it lives, and the hunting of Red Pandas is illegal everywhere. Nevertheless, poaching continues and they are often illegally hunted and sold to zoos for dumping prices. The IUCN has mandated that small Pandas are a “threatened species“ since 1996, however it is now listed as endangered. It is very difficult to estimate the total population, yet one can assume that they cannot bear much more of a habitat change and that they are in danger of extinction due to the disappearance of the forests and hunting for their highly-valued tails and fur.

    The SREL DNA Lab at the University of Georgia has listed several key major threat indications. A 40% decrease in Red Panda populations reported in China over the last 50 years, and those in western/Himalayan areas are considered to be in worse shape. Red Pandas have a naturally low birth rate (usually single or twin births per year) and a high death rate in the wild.

    Natural population subdivision by topography and ecology has been worsened by human encroachment, leading to severe fragmentation of the remaining wild population. For example, 40 animals in 4 groups share resources of a preserve in Nepal with 30,000 humans (only 6% of its 1710 km² is preferred red panda habitat). 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 endangered due to habitat loss caused by deforestation, grazing, and farming. For example government-encouraged cheese production for tourists in Nepal contributed to fuel wood consumption for the factory, overgrazing by chauri (cattle-yak hybrid) impacting bamboo growth, and intrusion by herders and dogs (often attacking cubs). Agricultural terracing is having a detrimental effect on former Red Panda habitat in Nepal. The Red Panda is also poached for good-luck charm' hats for Chinese newlyweds, other fur clothing, and for the illegal pet trade.

  • 5 years ago

    Red pandas just may be the cutest animals ever! They are extremely well adapted to their specialized bamboo diet, similar to koalas with eucalyptus.

  • 4 years ago

    .

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.