Species Facts: Red Panda

Common names: Red Panda, Lesser Panda, Panda, Firefox, Firecat

Scientific name: Ailurus fulgens

Conservation status: Vulnerable

Population in the Wild: difficult to determine between 2500 to 20,000

Habitat:  Temperate forest in the Himalayas in Western Nepal, West China, Norther India, Bhutan and Northern Myanmar

Behavior: Crepuscular, omnivorous, arboreal

Closest Relatives: distantly related to raccoons, skunks, badgers

Interesting fact(s):

-Red Pandas were first classified as bears, then raccoons, but are now classified as their own family.

-The Giant Panda actually got its name from the Red Panda when it was thought they were from the same family.

-It is believed that Panda comes from the Nepali word poonya meaning bamboo eater.

Threats:

-habitat loss

-habitat fragmentation

-poaching

-inbreeding (due to habitat fragmentation)

Conservation Organizations:

Red Panda Network

WWF - Nepal