Monday, July 1, 2013

Red Panda: Race to Save One of Nature's Most Adorable Creatures

The race is on to save these adorable creatures before they are hunted into extinction.

[Note: Red pandas are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because of habitat loss. There are fewer than 10,000 adult red pandas.]

RED PANDAS closely resemble raccoons more than giant pandas — they are approx. 42 inches long — including a long, bushy tail which are used for balance when they're in trees and blankets to keep warm during the winter.

RED PANDAS weigh approx. 7-14 pounds. Their red-and-white markings blend in w/ the red mosses and white lichens that grow on the trees in which they live. Their soft, dense fur covers their entire body including the soles of their feet.

RED PANDAS live in the cool temperate bamboo forests in Sichuan, Yunnan, and Xizang provinces in China, in the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal and Bhutan, and in northern Myanmar. They share part of their range with giant pandas.

RED PANDAS primarily eat bamboo leaves and shoots, as well as berries, blossoms, bird eggs, and various plants' small leaves. They have a small, bony projection on their wrists that helps them grip bamboo stalks — giant pandas also have this thumb-like adaptation.

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