Untitled Document

Red Panda

The red panda is rare. It is found in the Eastern Himalaya and in parts of China and Myanmar. It's ... / ©: Susan A. MAINKA/WWF-Canon
The red panda is rare. It is found in the Eastern Himalaya and in parts of China and Myanmar. It's habitat is under severe threat from deforetation, tourism and development projects. Adult red pandas are killed for their fur. Their tails are used as a good luck charm by some. Which is bad luck for the Red Panda.
© Susan A. MAINKA/WWF-Canon
 

Key Facts

  • Common Name

    Red Panda

  • Scientific Name

    Ailurus fulgens

  • Geographic habitat

    Sikkim, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

  • Height

    Approx 90cm

  • Length

    50 to 60 cm

  • Weight

    Male: 4.5 kg-6.2 kg, Female: 3.7 kg-4.5 kg

  • Population

    Around 2500

  • Did you know?

    The red panda has an extra thumb for feeding and climbing.

  • Status

    Endangered

Habitat and distribution

The red panda lives in temperate climates - in deciduous and coniferous forests, usually with an under-storey of bamboo and hollow trees. This makes them a key species of these forests and indicators of forest health. They are found in the Himalayan region, in parts of Nepal, Bhutan, Mynamar and in the Indian states of Sikkim, West Bengal, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh and in southern China. Majority of the Indian population occurs in Arunachal Pradesh.

Characteristics

Red panda, also known sometimes as cat bear and lesser panda, is largely herbivore. Slightly larger than a domestic cat, an adult red panda in the forest weighs around 4 kg. It has retractile claws and like the giant panda, it has a “false thumb” which is really an extension of the wrist bone. Thick fur on the soles offers protection from cold. The pelage is reddish – orange on the body with a long bushy tail. Their ears and areas around the eyes are white with black “tear drops” running from the eyes to the throat. These intricate white markings on the face of a red panda makes it most conspicuous. Both sexes are alike.

 
 / ©: Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India
Red Panda
© Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India