The Red Panda

Ailurus Fulgens

Habit and Niche

The red panda is a small, raccoon-like creature that lives in the bamboo forests of western China and at the base of the Himalayan Mountains. Its diet mostly consists of bamboo, However, they are omnivores, and will sometimes prey on small birds that they can catch. They are primary and secondary consumers, meaning they play a key role in the survival of animals in higher tiers of the trophic pyramid. They are highly territorial, defending all they call theirs with their claws and sharp teeth. They have been found to be both active at day and night in different regions. Red pandas do feed on bamboo and live in the same kinds of habitats as giant pandas, making them competitors to the endangered species.

Other facts about the red panda--

-Size (adult): about 3 1/2 feet long

-Weight: 7-14 pounds

-Typically has litters of 1-4 cubs

The Red Panda is Threatened

The red panda is classified as threatened, because there are fewer than 10,000 adult red pandas alive today. This is a result of the over-logging of Chinese bamboo farms, which lowers the carrying capacity of the habitat by reducing the amount of available food for red pandas. This loss of habitat combined with the hunting of humans, either intentionally or unintentionally, and other predators has left the red panda population dwindling at only a few thousand. If nothing is done, the red panda population will quickly die out, leaving the red panda to spiral onto the endangered species list, and go extinct. in order to stop this, the logging of bamboo forests must decline, and the habitat of red pandas must be allowed to return, giving the red pandas the food they need to survive and grow.