Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: red panda
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Tree-dwelling mammal of the species Ailurus fulgens, native to the forests of the Himalayas from eastern Nepal to central China. It reaches about 50 cm/1.5 ft in length, with thick, chestnut and black fur, white facial markings, and a long, bushy, ringed tail. Although living mainly on bamboo and mushrooms, it also eats other plant and animal foods. It is only distantly related to the giant panda, being closer to the raccoons.

The red panda was previously grouped with the raccoon family Procyonidae, but now forms its own family, the Ailuridae. The species is divided into two sub-species: A. f. fulgens, found in Nepal, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, and China; and A. f. styani, found in Laos and the Chinese provinces of Sichuan and Yunnan.

Loss of habitat is a major problem for red pandas. They have ‘vulnerable’ status on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species, indicating a high risk of extinction in the wild.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles


Full text Article Raccoon Family
Princeton Encyclopedia of Mammals

The raccoon family comprises only six genera and 14 species, but its members display a remarkable diversity in form and ecology. This diversity is r

Full text Article panda
The Chambers Dictionary

a raccoon-like animal (Ailurus fulgens) of the Himalayas (also called the red or lesser panda); (also, more correctly, giant panda) a similar but mu

Full text Article panda
Academic Press Dictionary of Science and Technology

1. A large, bearlike mammal, Ailuropoda melanoleuca , of the family Ailuropodidae, characterized by a heavy body covered with a thick,...

See more from Credo