Red Panda Network
The Red Panda
Likely named “panda” due to their facial markings that closely resemble those of giant panda bears, red pandas aren’t actually bears, but are smaller mammals more closely related to raccoons. These animals are the last living members of their taxonomic family, and are only found in a narrow strip of the Eastern Himalayas and Southwestern China. Most biologists think that red pandas have their distinctive coloration to help them blend in with the lichens and mosses that are common in their high elevation environments.
Red pandas primarily feed on bamboo, but will also eat flowers, berries and even birds and small mammals! Red pandas are largely solitary animals and adults only socialize in order to mate. Cubs will stay with their mother for about a year.
With natural predators like snow leopards, red pandas have evolved an interesting defensive display! When threatened, a red panda will stand up straight on its rear legs, and stick its large clawed paws in the air in an effort to appear large and formidable.
Like many of the other animals found in their ecosystem, red pandas are facing threats from habitat loss and poaching, and it’s likely that fewer than 3,000 red pandas remain in the wild.
The Red Panda Network is an organization dedicated to preserving wild red pandas and the other animals that share their ecosystem. Through research, along with reforestation and education, the Red Panda Network hopes to restore red panda populations in the different countries that they call home. By supporting their work, you will be making a contribution toward the conservation of an animal that is a living relic of a past era, and one that is essential to the mountains and forests that make up its home!