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Why the red panda is in danger of extinction

The red panda, lesser panda or red raccoon , scientifically called Ailurus fulgens is an animal that little by little is becoming more known around the world. It is an animal with a fur that attracts attention and is adorable and funny looking, since it has an appearance that mixes that of a panda bear with that of a raccoon and even a fox.

It has been in danger of extinction since the 90s and its situation, for now, does not seem to improve. The answer to why the red panda is in danger of extinction is that all the reasons are because of the actions of humans. If you want to know details about the characteristics of the red panda bear , including the complete answer to its risk situation, keep reading this AgroCorrn article where you will find everything you are looking for.

You may also be interested in: Does the panda bear become extinct?
  1. Red panda family and subspecies
  2. Red panda habitat, where does it live?
  3. The nightlife of the lesser panda in the trees
  4. Red panda diet
  5. The red panda is in danger of extinction, why?

Red panda family and subspecies

It is generally known simply as a red or lesser panda, but there are areas where it is called a small panda, a small panda, a red raccoon or a red panda , although it must be borne in mind that it is not actually a bear (family Ursidae ) Therefore, despite their similarities in various aspects, he is not related to the giant panda, nor is he a raccoon ( Procyon family ). In recent scientific studies it has been shown that it has no direct relationship with the panda and they have given it a family of its own, Ailuridae , which is why the lesser panda is known as ailurid. In addition, there are two subspecies of this animal: Ailurus fulgens fulgens or western or lesser red panda andAilurus fulgens styani o panda rojo styans o mayor.

Males weigh between 4.5 kg and 6 kg and females between 3 kg and 4.5 kg, so in size they are usually compared to a medium-sized domestic cat. Its height is between 30 cm and 60 cm at the withers and its coat is reddish brown , with some areas of the face and ears lighter and others such as the belly and legs darker. Its thick and bushy tail, with rings in lighter brown tones, helps it to warm up in cold weather and cover itself to sleep, as well as to have balance and to hold on well in the branches of the trees. It has partially retractable claws and a false thumb, an extension of the wrist bone, which helps it grip well on branches.

They are solitary animals and being adults only relate to mate. Females give birth between 1 and 4 young in spring and summer, but males are not interested in offspring. Thus, it is also the solitary females that raise their young in the den for 90 days.

Red panda habitat, where does it live?

The Ailurus fulgens lives in the high-altitude jungles of the Asian continent and shares habitat areas with the giant panda, but the lesser is more widespread in the territory. Its habitat is the mountains of northern Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, the central and southern regions of China, and the northeastern part of India. Although it is spread over different areas of four countries, its size and population density have been greatly reduced.

The nightlife of the lesser panda in the trees

These animals have a night life, it is when they are most active, and they sleep during the day, so they go out to look for food from dusk to dawn.

They are arboreal animals , they live practically all the time up to the trees and they go down only if it is really necessary. Therefore, they always sleep, feed and interact in the trees and, for this reason, they evolved developing special claws and tail for this type of life.

Red panda diet

They are omnivorous animals and one of their main foods is bamboo , but they also eat roots, fruits, fruits, especially acorns, eggs, insects and, in times that may need extra protein intake, some birds and small mammals.

The red panda is in danger of extinction, why?

According to various studies that have been carried out over the last two decades, red pandas have been in danger of extinction since the 1990s . In fact, studies are still being carried out and currently around 2,500 mature adult individuals have been recorded in the wild , a fairly low figure although, of course, there are more individuals in captivity.

Some of the studies that have been carried out and that can offer us data such as when this species began to be threatened and details about its characteristics are the following:

  • El estudio realizado por Bing Su, Yunxin Fu, Yingxiang Wang, Li Jin y Ranajit Chakraborty sobre “Genetic Diversity and Population History of the Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) as Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variations” y publicado en Molecular Biology and Evolution, volume 18, number 6, 1 de june de 2001, pages 1070-1076.
  • The study carried out by Fuwen Wei, Zuojian Feng, Zuwang Wang and Jinchu Hu on “ Current distribution, status and conservation of wild red pandas Ailurus fulgens in China” and published in Biological Conservation Volume 89, Issue 3, August 1999, Pages 285 -291.

In the latter we can see that in the mid-90s the habitat of this species in China had decreased considerably and, therefore, the number of its individuals. Specifically, in the provinces of Gansu, Qingahi, Shaanxi and Guizhou they were already extinct. Today the negative impact on this species is even greater and its situation has worsened to the point that humans have deforested more than 50% of the red panda’s habitat and hunted it to capture it alive and sell it to zoos and as an animal. company, something illegal in various countries of the world.

However, the IUCN organization Red List of Threatened Species indicates that in 2008 this species was considered in a vulnerable state , that is, that it had begun to recover leaving behind the endangered state, but also estimated that the population trend it was decreasing, losing volume year after year. Therefore, when the information is updated, it is likely that this small mammal has returned to the state of danger, especially seeing the most recent figures of its population in the wild.

Some people wonder what the price of the red panda is because they want to buy this animal to have as a pet, something that is a big mistake since it has not been domesticated at any time and needs to live in freedom to thrive. In a house we cannot offer you the conditions you need to be healthy, physically and mentally, or to be able to reproduce and survive properly.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why the red panda is in danger of extinction , we recommend that you enter our category of Endangered Animals .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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