Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Red Panda Says Hi to You

Are red pandas pandas in red? Definitely not! Unlike black-and-white pandas, they are not even bears. They belong to their own unique family (Ailuridae) and genus (Ailurus).

Five red pandas (Ailurus fulgens) were recorded by a hidden camera on a snowfield in Gaoligong Mountain National Nature Reserve, Yunnan, China last November. The video was found by workers from the management and protection bureau of the reserve while sorting infrared camera data.

Red pandas are slightly larger than domestic cats with a bear-like body and thick russet fur. They live in the rainy mountain forests of Nepal, India, Bhutan, northern Myanmar (Burma), and central China. They spend the vast majority of their lives in trees, where they sleep and sunbathe. 

Red pandas are considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the organization that determines the conservation status of plant and animal species. While no one knows the exact number of animals in the wild, a 2015 estimate put the population at 10,000, a 50 percent drop since 1997. The red panda is a second-class national protected species in China. Reserves like Gaoligong Mountain National Nature Reserve are habitats for various rare wild animals and contribute to global biodiversity.

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