Red pandas range from northern Myanmar (Burma) to the west Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces of China. They are also found in suitable habitat in Nepal, India and Tibet. Red pandas live in high altitude temperate forests with bamboo understories in the Himalayas and high mountains.
Red pandas are generally quiet, but have subtle vocalizations such as squeals, twitters and huff-quacks. They may also hiss or grunt. Red pandas are solitary except for during the breeding season, but in human care, most breeding pairs live together year-round. In the wild, the home range is about one square mile. In confined conditions, if the male cannot get away from the protective female, aggression may occur between them. However, in larger enclosures, the male is tolerated but will keep his distance. Most males will interact amicably with their cubs, more than females. It is usually not possible to keep two adult females together.
Red pandas may live as long as 22 years.
They’re vegetarian carnivores. Its diet consists mostly of bamboo and when the weather is warm enough, they will also eat insects and fruit. Red pandas selectively feed on leaf tips and bamboo shoots. They may also forage on the ground for roots, succulent grasses, fallen fruits, insects and grubs and are known to occasionally kill and eat birds and small mammals. Red pandas can spend as much as 13 hours a day looking for and eating bamboo.
The Red Panda population is estimated at less than 10,000 pandas and even 2,500 mature individuals.
Despite sharing a name, red pandas are not closely related to giant pandas. They are much smaller and have no close living relatives.
Why are They Endangered
They are endangered due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression. Red pandas are also often killed when they get caught in traps meant for other animals such as wild pigs and deer. They are also poached for their distinctive pelts in China and Myanmar.