Pink panda (Ailurus fulgens): a small mammal native to the japanese Himalayas and southwestern China.
AKA: the lesser panda, the crimson cat bear, and the firefox.
Kingdom: | Animalia
Phylum: | Chordata
Class: | Mammalia
Order: | Carnivora
Household: | Ailuridae
Genus: | Ailurus
Species: | A. fulgens
Whereas they share their identify with black-and-white large pandas, they aren’t carefully associated. Beforehand, crimson pandas had been labeled as a part of the Procyonidae household, which incorporates raccoons and their kin. Nevertheless, latest DNA research point out that crimson pandas signify a novel household that diverged from the remainder of the Carnivore Order. Subsequently, taxonomists positioned them in their very own distinctive household: Ailuridae.
Measurement and Weight:
Pink pandas are 20 to 25 inches lengthy, not together with their tail. Their tail is 11 to 19 inches lengthy. Females weigh 6 to 10 kilos, and males weigh 10 to 14 kilos.
The crimson panda has dense reddish-brown fur with a black stomach and legs. It has white-lined ears, a primarily white muzzle and a ringed, bushy tail. They’re properly tailored for his or her arboreal habitat, utilizing their bushy tail for stability and their lengthy claws for gripping. The crimson panda’s cinnamon-red coat and cream-colored face masks present camouflage among the many crimson moss and white lichen that cowl the tree trunks of their bamboo forest houses. The legs and stomach shade black in hanging distinction to their crimson coat.
Like the large panda, crimson pandas are bamboo-eaters. They’re largely vegetarian, with highly effective molars for chewing on robust bamboo. Bamboo is just not an excellent meals supply for vitality and is difficult to digest. Pink pandas have to eat 20 to 30 p.c of their physique weight every day, about 2 to 4 kilos of bamboo shoots and leaves. Pink pandas eat largely bamboo leaves and shoots, acorns, and flowers. Bamboo stalks are eaten within the spring and fruit is loved in the summertime. They could additionally eat eggs, small birds and small rodents.
Pink pandas dwell largely in cool, temperate forests with a shrubby understory dominated by thick bamboo. In a part of India, crimson pandas dwell in a tropical forests.
Pink pandas are present in small, remoted mountain territories in China, Nepal, India, Bhutan and Burma.
Breeding season happens from January to April. Throughout this time, crimson pandas come collectively in small teams. Cubs and adults might interact in social play, equivalent to lunging, wrestling, and biting. Like large pandas, the females are fertile for just one or two days a 12 months, and there’s a interval of delayed implantation when the fertilized egg doesn’t implant or develop instantly. She sometimes provides delivery to cubs in the summertime when their possibilities for survival are greatest. A number of days earlier than giving delivery, the expectant mom begins to construct a birthing den in a hole tree, stump or rock crevice.
After a gestation interval of 98 to 145 days, the mom provides delivery to 1 to 4 cubs. They’re born with thick buff and grey fur. They’re weak at delivery with their eyes and ears tightly closed, so the mom retains her cubs hidden within the den. For his or her first 7 to 10 days, the cubs’ solely exercise is nursing. They normally start opening their eyes and ears at 2 to three weeks of age and nurse till 13 to 22 weeks outdated. As they develop, their wooly, grey hair adjustments to crimson. Their mom shelters her younger in tree hollows and frequently strikes them to new dens.
At 40 to 50 days outdated, the cubs are actively exploring the den, grooming and enjoying. Cubs enterprise from the den when about three months outdated. They start to frequently eat strong meals at 4 months outdated. By 5 months of age, they’re nearly as massive as their mom. They’re pushed away by their mom when they’re mature at 18 to twenty months outdated. Right now, the mom sometimes prepares to boost her subsequent litter.
Pink pandas are largely solitary creatures however come collectively in pairs within the breeding season. They change info utilizing scent glands, visible cues together with “stare downs” with head bobbing, and a wide range of calls. Once they really feel threatened, crimson pandas make an ear-splitting, grumbly barking sound. Adults use high-frequency twitters and low-frequency bleats throughout the breeding season.
They’re most energetic within the early morning and late afternoon (crepuscular), spending a lot of the day resting in timber conserving their vitality. When night time falls, crimson pandas run via the timber to forage for meals. Throughout this time, males patrol their territory and scent mark it with urine in addition to a secretion from the anal gland. Pink pandas are mild-mannered and use their claws largely for climbing. Nevertheless, when defending their territory, they stand on their hind legs and use their sharp claws to strike out if threatened. They could additionally launch a powerful odor from their scent glands to dissuade predators.
Pink pandas dwell eight to 10 years within the wild and as much as 15 years in captivity.
The variety of crimson pandas residing within the wild has declined dramatically over the past 50 years. There are estimated to be solely 2,500 adults remaining of their native habitat. Habitat loss, looking and the pet commerce are the biggest threats to the species. Their forest residence has been cleared for farming and grazing. They’re hunted for his or her pelts, that are made into fur capes and hats. They’re additionally mistakenly caught in snares set out for wild pigs, deer, and takins.
As of 2015, the IUCN has labeled the dhole as Endangered on its Red List of Threatened Species.
There are presently international efforts to guard crimson pandas. Some habitat has been designated as protected areas in locations equivalent to India, China, Nepal and Bhutan. The Red Panda Network is among the many conservation teams working to avoid wasting the species. It’s a nonprofit group that identifies unprotected crimson panda habitats and trains “forest guardians” to conduct awareness-building workshops on crimson pandas at native villages and work with villagers to determine new protected areas. Forest guardians additionally proceed baseline conservation analysis and monitoring of crimson panda populations.
Supply: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and The Red Panda Network.