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Red Panda Fact Sheet

  • Latin Name

    Ailurus fulgens
  • Class

    Mammals
  • Order

    Carnivora
  • Range

    The red panda can be found throughout the Himalayan mountain range in China, Nepal, India, Burma and Bhutan.

  • Habitat

    The species inhabits elevated bamboo and evergreen forests ranging from 4,000–10,000 feet.

  • Niche

    An arboreal species, the red panda spends most of its time in the branches, where it subsists on bamboo shoots and leaves, berries, flowers and the occasional egg or insect. Bamboo makes up the bulk of its diet, but because the omnivore can’t fully digest bamboo fiber, a large part of its day has to be spent foraging to ensure it gets its necessary nutrients.

  • Life History

    The red panda is largely a solitary animal. Males and females define separate territories via scent marking, coming together only for breeding. The female rears the young on her own, giving birth in leaf-lined tree cavities and leaving her cubs as she forages for food. After a year of care, mother and offspring go their separate ways, each pursuing a life of solitude among the trees.

  • Special Adaptations

    The red panda uses a “panda's thumb”— an extension of the wrist bone—to grasp fruit and branches.

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2001 North Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60614 • 312-742-2000

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