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HIMALAYAN ANIMALS SERIES -II(IMAGES OF WILD ANIMALS FROM DARJEELING ZOO - SECOND IN A SERIES OF 5 IMAGES).

SOME TIDBITS ABOUT THE RED PANDA.

The red panda (Ailurus fulgens, or shining-cat), is a small arboreal mammal native to the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China and related to raccoons, skunks and weasels. It is the only extant species of the genus Ailurus and the family Ailuridae. Slightly larger than a domestic cat, it has reddish-brown fur, a long, shaggy tail, and a waddling gait due to its shorter front legs. It feeds mainly on bamboo, but is omnivorous and may also eat eggs,birds, insects, and small mammals. It is a solitary animal, mainly active from dusk to dawn, and is largely sedentary during the day.

The red panda has been classified as Vulnerable by IUCN because its population is estimated at fewer than 10,000 mature individuals. Although red pandas are protected by national laws in their range countries, their numbers in the wild continue to decline mainly due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding depression.

The species has been classified as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List since 2008 because the global population is estimated at about 10,000 individuals, with a decreasing population trend; only about half of the total area of potential habitat of 142,000 km2 (55,000 sq mi) is actually being used by the species. Due to their shy and secretive nature, and their largely nocturnal habits, observation of red pandas is difficult. Therefore, population figures in the wild are determined by population density estimates and not direct counts.

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Additional Photos by Farhat Abbas (fabbs99) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2124 W: 2 N: 4155] (17179)
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