IUCN Redlist Status
Red pandas are located in portions of Nepal, Burma, southern China and surrounding areas.
In these areas, they live at higher altitudes within the Himalayan mountain range, in dense bamboo forests and thickets.
Like giant pandas, red pandas dine on bamboo shoots. They have a similar wrist structure that assists them in gripping the shoots. They also like to eat fruits, acorns, grasses and other items. They also, on occasion, eat insects and other small animals. For this reason, they are scientifically classified as carnivores.
Red pandas grow to 1.5 - 2 ft in length by adulthood. They weigh approximately 8 - 12 pounds.
Red pandas are similar to raccoons in appearance, except they have red and black coats instead of gray coats. They have long, bushy tails which have alternating cream and red rings on them. They have two large white and black ears on their heads. The muzzle areas around their noses are also covered in white fur, and are usually separated by markings which drop down from their eyes. The bottoms of their feet are covered in fur, which helps keep them warm at the high altitudes in which they live.
They are agile climbers and will use their tails to balance within the trees.
Red pandas spend much of their time in trees. At times they will be spotted sunbathing on a limb or curled up to protect against the cold.
The gestation period of female red pandas lasts approximately 4 - 5 months. They will give then give birth to 2 - 3 cubs.
These animals are endangered due to habitat loss. They are also sometimes hunted for their furs.
At this time it is still not entirely known which animals red pandas are most closely related to.