During the third Saturday in September, International Red Panda Day dedicates a day to learning about red pandas. Join the campaign to raise awareness about saving their habitats.
With the decline in their habitat, International Red Panda Day hopes to encourage people to learn about these adorable creatures and help save the biome in which they live. These animals spend most of their lives in trees and even sleep aloft. When foraging, they mostly nocturnal but also forage in the gloaming hours of dusk and dawn. Red pandas roam the Eastern Himalayas. These rust-colored creatures are experiencing a loss of nesting trees and bamboo, leading to a decline in the population. With less than 10,000 in the wild efforts are doubled every year to help these little firefoxes!
So head to your local zoo and support those who are helping save these loveable creatures habitat, but keep your eye peeled they can be hard to spot. Spending a lot of their time in trees they are often difficult to see in their enclosures. Red pandas typically grow to the size of a house cat, though their big, bushy tails add an additional 18 inches to their size. Red pandas have a taste for bamboo but, unlike their larger relatives, they eat many other foods as well—fruit, acorns, roots, and eggs. Like giant pandas, they have an extended wrist bone that functions almost like a thumb and greatly aids their grip when climbing.
Red pandas are much smaller than the more familiar black and white pandas. In fact, red pandas are not related to giant pandas at all. Red pandas weigh between 12 to 20 pounds, which is about the size of a housecat. These adorable mammals live in the trees of the Himalaya Mountains. The Red panda’s popularity in Asia features them in cartoons and as team mascots. However, only about 10,000 red pandas live in the wild. Because of deforestation, poaching, and the illegal pet trade, red pandas are endangered.
Here are some fun facts about red pandas:
- Their fur is the color of cinnamon and keeps them warm in cold climates.
- Red pandas eat mostly bamboo.
- They were discovered in 1825, before the giant panda.
- Other names for the red panda include bear-cat, firefox, and Himalayan raccoon.
- Although they resemble raccoons, they have no living relatives.
- According to the Red Panda Network, red pandas symbolize life. Red pandas help to keep forests healthy, the water clean, and the ecosystem vibrant.
- Saving the red panda helps combat global climate change as well as protect the ecological integrity of South Asia.