Red Panda

Ailurus fulgens

Scientific Name

Red Panda:  
Ailurus fulgens

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

This mammal may be found in the mountains of Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Myanmar (Burma).

Natural Habitat

The red panda shares the giant panda’s rainy, high-altitude forest habitat.  These animals spend most of their lives in trees and even sleep aloft.

Physical Characteristics

  • Most closely related to the raccoon, the red panda has similar physical characteristics. It possesses a covering of soft, reddish-brown fur on its upper body; a dark fur on its lower body, which is used to be able to camouflage its surroundings. Its thick dense fur is used to protect itself from cold and snowy mountains in its habitat. The red panda has a white snout and ears, with white streaks on its face. The body of the panda ranges from twenty to twenty-five inches. The red panda’s ringed tail can measure eleven to nineteen inches, and the average weight is six to twelve pounds. An extraordinary trait about the red panda is, like the panda, this animal has one extra “thumb” which is used to grip things. Its long whiskers are used to navigate their environment at night. Red pandas have fur at the soles of their feet which is used to grip branches and keep their feet warm.

Quick Facts

  1. The red panda is the original panda; it was first discovered in 1821, 48 years before the giant panda was found.

  2. Red panda claws are very sharp and can be pulled back like a cat’s.


Vanishing Animals North

Conservation Status

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Red pandas eat mainly bamboo leaves, grass, and fruit.  Occasionally, they will eat eggs, insects, or small animals.