06 March 2012

Red Panda Facts

Red Panda is slightly larger than the domestic cat is a mammal and is the only tree species of the genus Ailurus. They are characterized by the presence of reddish brown fur, long tail and shaggy and walking, waddling like front legs are short. The main food of the animal is bamboo, but is omnivorous as it also feeds on eggs, fish, birds, insects and small mammals in the circumstances. They are solitary and are active from dawn to dusk and largely sedentary during the day. They are widely distributed in temperate forests of the Himalayas, Nepal and China. Also found in northern India, Bhutan and northern Myanmar. One estimate of the population of these animals may be at present of 2.500 to 20.000. They are well protected by the laws of different countries as they are at risk because of poaching and habitat destruction. It has been classified as vulnerable according to IUCN list re in 2009. Two subspecies are known today. It is quite adaptable to living in captivity and is often seen in zoos. Over 800 individuals were observed to live in zoos around the world.

The taxonomic classification of red panda has been controversial from the moment it was first discovered. Evidences based on serology, reproduction, karyology, anatomy and behavior bears a similarity to more than Procyonidae Ursidae. However, dietary habits and geographical distribution points to the need for a separate family. Recent DNA technology Molecular systematic confirmed that they should be classified in a separate family. Now they are a part of the family Ailuridae. There are two subspecies of red panda at the moment. The first life is Western Red Panda in the west of its range, such as Nepal and Bhutan and the second is alive Styan's Red Panda east of its range as China and Myanmar . Red Panda Styan is larger and darker than the boy of the West. The color variation is very common in both subspecies and shades of yellow and brown are very common outside the red.

Red panda is considered a living fossil and is by far related to Giant Panda. It is believed that their origin during the Tertiary Period about 10 million years in Eurasia. The fossils were found in China and in Britain. He lives at an altitude of 2.200 to 4.800 meters of living in areas of moderate temperature change. He prefers mixed hardwood and coniferous forests dense especially with old understory trees and bamboo. The head and body of the animal is 56-63 cm long and the tail is about 35-47 cm. Males weigh about 3.7-6.2 kg and females 4.2-6 kg. he has long hair and soft reddish brown on the underside, blackish fur on lower parts light and face with tear marks and robust dental cranial characteristics. The face is also white markings that resemble that of raccoons. The rounded head has floppy ears and feet, noses and black eyes very dark. The tail is long and bushy, with six other rings reddish ocher cross that provided balance to the body and is also a source of camouflage. The legs are black with thick short fur on the legs. The fur provides insulation when the animal faces and snowy conditions also contains scent glands present on the anus.

Red Panda is specialized for feeding and bamboo shoots is blessed with strong curved claws, and sharp semi-retractile for holding bamboo sticks. Like the giant panda she also wears a false thumb which is an extension of the wrist bone. It was reported that they are nocturnal twilight sleep on tree branches and hollow logs and become active in the afternoon or evening. He sleeps on branches with hanging legs when it is hot and the tail curled over his face when it's cold. It is sensitive to heat and can survive in the temperature range of 17-25 ° C in summer, but can not tolerate temperatures above 25 ° C. After walking for a short distance from the animal is known to clean its coat in the same way as did the cat, licking paws, cleans his tail, stomach and sides of the body. It marks its territory by the secretion of musk like scent glands and urine spray. It searches for food in the dark by running and climbing trees. Foreleg is used for the passage of food into the mouth. Red Panda is territorial and adults are solitary except for mating season. It is generally an animal altogether, but uses chirping sounds and whistles to communicate with other fellows. Predators of this animal are snow leopards, martens and humans. If the animal is frightened it climbs on trees or uses its front legs in defense.

It is primarily a distributor of bamboo, but as the giant panda, it is not able to digest cellulose so it must consume large quantities of bamboo to survive. The diet consists of 2/3rd of bamboo, but may also feed on lichens, fruits, berries, mushrooms, acorns and roots. It may also eat small birds, fish and eggs occasionally. When kept in captivity they feed readily meat. It is an excellent climber and works less, eat more because they eat a low calorie diet. Bamboo shoots are easy to digest the leaves. They show high digestive capacity in summer and autumn, intermediate in spring and lowest in winter. This can be correlated with variations of nutrients in bamboo for different seasons. It deals especially bamboo bad cell wall components and cellulose. This may point to the minor role of microbes in digestion. In order to survive red panda feeding on high quality sections of the bamboo plant as the tender leaves and shoots. The food passes quickly through the digestive tract to maximize nutrient intake.

Adults rarely interact with each other, except for breeding. Both partners may mate with more than one partner in the breeding season. A few days before the birth of the young mother collects food product such as brush, leaves and grass for the nest. The nest is usually located in the hollow of the tree of rock crevices. The gestation period lasts about 112-158 days, after which about 1-4 small blind and deaf are born weighing 110-130 grams each. After the cubs are born, the mother cleans them and recognize their young by their smell. At first, she spends 60-90% of his time with the children. After a week, she spends most of time outside the nest and returns after a few hours to provide care and grooming small. Small open their eyes when they are 18 days. At the age of 90 days, they reach the coloration and fur that resembles that of adults. And venture out of the nest. They also begin to eat solid food materials at this age. They remain with the mother until the next generation is born in the summer to come. Males rarely participate in rearing the young. Red pap is able to reproduce at the age of 18 months and becomes fully mature at age 2-3 years. The average lifespan is 8-10 years, but some can live to 15 years.