In news- A red panda rescued was recently released into the wild in Arunachal Pradesh.
About Red Panda-
- Red panda, also called lesser panda, red cat-bear, or red bear-cat is reddish brown, long-tailed, raccoon-like mammal, about the size of a large domestic cat.
- Its Scientific Name is Ailurus fulgens.
- It is found in the mountain forests of the Himalayas and adjacent areas of eastern Asia.
- Red pandas are made up of two subspecies — the Himalayan red panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens), which resides in the mountains of northern India, Tibet, Bhutan, and Nepal, and the Chinese red panda (A. fulgens styani), which lives in China’s Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.
- It is also the state animal of Sikkim.
- It subsists mainly on bamboo and other vegetation, fruits, and insects.
- Once classified as a relative of the giant panda, it is now usually classified as the sole member of the family Ailuridae.
- The head and body length of the red panda is 50–65 cm and the tail 30–50 cm long.
- The feet have hairy soles, and the claws are semi-retractile.
- It is nocturnal and may live alone, in pairs, or in family groups.
- The red panda has an extra thumb for feeding and climbing.
- Conservation issues include habitat fragmentation and degradation, predation by feral dogs and occasional hunting and poaching.