Red pandas were once thought to be closely related to the giant panda, but genetics has shown they are more closely allied with the raccoon and weasel families.The red panda is commonly called the wah because of the "wah" call that it makes. It also has the common name fire fox because of its reddish fur and fox-like snout.
Red Pandas are found in the mountain forests of Nepal, India, Bhutan, China and Myanmar.These pandas typically grow to the size of a house cat, though their big, bushy tails add an additional 18 inches (46 centimeters). The pandas use their ringed tails as wraparound blankets in the chilly mountain heights.They weigh between seven and 14 pounds.Their red-and-white markings blend in with the red mosses and white lichens that grow on the trees in which they live. Their soft, dense fur covers their entire body—even the soles of their feet. Red pandas use their long, bushy tails to balance when they're in trees. They also cover themselves with their tails in winter.
Red pandas primarily eat bamboo leaves as well as berries, blossoms, bird eggs, and various plants' small leaves. Their broad teeth and strong jaws allow them to chew bamboo's tough leaves and stalks. They also have a small, bony projection on their wrists that helps them grip bamboo stalks. Giant pandas also have this thumb-like adaptation.
They are shy and solitary except when mating. Females give birth in the spring and summer, typically to one to four young. After a gestation of about 134 days, litters of one to four young are born. Young stay in the nest for about 90 days, remain close to their mother until the next mating season begins, and reach adult size at about 12 months. Adult red pandas lead solitary lives.
Red pandas are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. They sleep in trees with their tails curled around themselves. They communicate using body language and a variety of sounds, including a warning whistle. The red panda’s tail helps its balance when climbing. Red pandas move slowly on the ground.
Red pandas are endangered mainly due to loss of habitat, but also due to hunting for their fur to make hats, etc. The snow leopard, clouded leopard and wild dogs are the red panda’s natural predators.
Red pandas are endangered, victims of deforestation. Their natural space is shrinking as more and more forests are destroyed by logging and the spread of agriculture.