Why Red Panda Hunting is Illegal?
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- The homeland of the Red Panda
- Characteristics and Nature of Red Panda
- 9 Unknown Facts about Red Pandas
- Five reasons why Red Panda is considered an endangered species
- Why is Red Panda hunted?
- What are Red Pandas used for in the black market?
- Why is hunting Red Panda illegal globally?
We all know about the black and white giant pandas that are popular worldwide. Instead of sharing numerous same features, the Red pandas are very different from them. Red pandas are larger than a domestic cat, and they resemble raccoon a lot.
So, the classification of this specific species is not easy for scientists. People adore Red pandas for its kitten-like face and russet-furry tail and call them by different names such as red cat-bear, bear-cat, lesser panda, and so on.
The homeland of the Red Panda
Do you know that Red pandas are the only living species of Ailuridae family?
Unfortunately, they continue to decline. But still, their origin and from where they come is not clear. Generally, they live in the remote mountainous area where the temperature remains between 10 to 25℃.
These arboreal mammals are found mainly in the high altitude of the Himalayan region of Sikkim, Assam Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and the northern part of West Bengal of India. They are endemic animals of the mountain region of Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, some parts of South China, and the temperate forest.
Now there are less than 10,000 Red pandas left in the entire planet. IUCN listed Red pandas as the endangered species. Therefore the World Wide Fund for Nature comes forward to take steps for saving these rare animals.
Red panda conservation is one of the most exceptional projects or aims WWF has. Their Red Panda Project in Singalila National Park of Darjeeling aims to conserve this species and their habitat too. A National park is a home to many wild and endangered animals where they can move freely.
Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh, Khangchendzonga National Park in Sikkim and Nokrek National Park in Meghalaya are essential habitats of Red panda. Neora Valley National Park, which is a vibrant and famous biological zone of India, is another home of these cute little animals.
Characteristics and Nature of Red Panda
The body of the Red panda is covered with reddish brown colored soft and dense fur, but legs are black. About 18 cm long bushy tail gives them warmth as well as balance. Having a false thumb, which is an extension of their wrist bone, they are capable of climbing. Their hairy paws look so adorable.
Red panda would prefer it if the world left them all alone and let them enjoy their solitary life! The loner red panda becomes active in the early morning as this animal is nocturnal. The remaining time of the day, they spend taking rest and restoring energy on the top of the tree.
These solitary animals make pair while mating in the breeding season from January to April. That time they communicate with others by twittering. They produce some different type of sounds to talk, twittering is one of them. Their newborn babies are blind at the time of birth. After three weeks of delivery, they can open their eyes. They are brought up by mother panda.
Red pandas are very calm, peaceful, and non-aggressive animals. They do not harm other animals. But Men become cruel. Poaching and illegal business are responsible for the extinction of red panda. Like other endangered animals, Red pandas are going extinct due to loss of habitat which is caused by deforestation and climate change.
On a serious note, it is a crucial time to put all the efforts to save the Red pandas in the world. Government, as well as people, is also now aware of the fact that these animals are really at risk.
9 Unknown Facts about Red Pandas
Red pandas are the cutest creatures that look more adorable with their rusty red colored bushy tail. The Red panda is known as the state animal of Sikkim. However, this mysterious but cute mammal has some unusual traits many are not aware of.
A confusing mammal
When Frédéric Cuvier discovered red panda in 1825, he placed them in the same family as raccoons as they have the same kind of head shape, teeth, and ringed tails just like raccoons.
When scientists found similarities to panda bears and DNA composition, red pandas were considered to be a part of the bear family. Now, red pandas are only members of the Ailuridae family.
Bigger than a domestic cat
This cute little animal is almost 60 to 65 cm long where its tail adds about 18 cm to its length. They look like slightly more significant than a domestic cat with a big furry tail.
They like to live solitary lives in high mountains or trees. They use their busy tail to keep their balance in the body and to wrap themselves while sleeping to get some warmth.
Comes with the false thumb
Scientists say that the false thumb is an extended part of their wrist bone. It is believed to be an adaption of climbing. Both red pandas and giant pandas share this feature, and this is called convergent evolution.
Though the two animals are not closely related, their part of bodies evolved in the same way for different reasons.
The interesting fact about the red panda is that their digestive system is more suited to a carnivorous diet, but they are considered as herbivorous.
They mainly eat bamboo leaves, so they are also known as 'bamboo eater.' Sometimes they eat fruits, roots, lichens, grasses, and occasionally bird eggs. This mainly happens in summer.
Most of the red panda’s habitat is in the Eastern Himalayas. They are found in countries like China, Nepal, and India. The loss of nesting trees and bamboo is the cause of their extinction. Red pandas are also endangered due to poaching and climate change.
Delivering the newborn
Generally, red pandas come together at the time of breeding. It is fascinating that the female red pandas give birth to two babies in a tree hollow.
Fun fact about baby red pandas: When the baby pandas are born, they cannot see. Yes, the newborn baby red pandas are blind and helpless.
Lack of closest relatives
The red panda has no living relatives. Their most recent fossil ancestor, Parailurus had a broad distribution across Eurasia tens of millions of years ago. The family, Ailuridae, contains seven extinct genera of animals.
They communicate by producing sounds, and they show a different kind of body languages while meeting. They tweet! Yes, the sound they produce is known as “twittering." On the other hand, they make different types of sounds when they alert each other.
One animal, different name
The red panda is also called the lesser panda, the red bear-cat, the red cat-bear, and so on. In Nepal, they are known as Bhalu biralo. 'Firefox' is a Chinese name of red panda and the browser 'Firefox' is named after it.
I hope you have thoroughly enjoyed the article while reading these never-known facts of the adorable red panda.
Five reasons why Red Panda is considered an endangered species
Now a day, Red Pandas are considered as a critically endangered spice as only 10,000 adult red pandas have left in the world. Zoology Experts have blamed the human activities like deforestation, Inbreeding depression, Illegal Hunting, Illegal poaching, accidental trapping, and the Illegal pet trade issue for this dwindling population of Red Pandas.
As the Red pandas are a tree-dwelling animal, Habitat destruction is one of the main reasons for endangering the population of Red pandas. Usually, these creatures live in the Himalayan forest and the south-western forest part of China. These forests are being cleared and cut down for road construction, localize and commercial logging.
Usually, every year, people are cutting down the local woods to collect wood, convert the area into farmland at an alarming rate. Due to the deforestation, the climate will become changed rapidly, which are impacting on the red panda critically.
Red Pandas are struggling hard with the deforestation problem for which their population will become fragmented. These mammals are generally shy and move around in a group. So, fragmentation is the main reason for their inbreeding depression, which decreases their population.
In the other hand, a group of Red Pandas could meet with only nearby red pandas group or each other which have less genetic diversity. As a result, these groups of Red Pandas are becoming unhealthy due to not having enough genetic diversity. Eventually, sometime they will die off at the time of inbreeding.
Illegal Hunting and illegal poaching
Hunting of Red Pandas is restricted now, but some people deliberately hunt the Red Pandas. Poachers purposefully kill them for their attractive stripped long tails and reddish fur. They would sell the pelts and the other body parts of the red pandas for profit.
Some rural people are considered the hats made from red pandas fur as a lucky charm for their special occasions. Even, few traditional medicines are made of the red panda's body parts, which are also illegal to sell and buy.
Hunting and poaching of Red Panda are leading the population loss of them, but still, it is familiar enough, mainly in China.
Sometimes people set a trap to catch a wild animal, but unfortunately, Red Pandas get caught in those traps. As well as they get trapped into small straps and cannot release themselves for being small in size. Except these, they cannot also survive while get caught in the durable metal traps.
Illicit pet trade
The Red pandas are very popular for their cute expressive face, long striped trails, and reddish fur around the world. For being so adorable, people get fascinated with them and want to pet them. But as the creatures are not domestic animals, the surroundings become suffocated for them, and they cannot survive for a longer time.
Moreover, they need a special diet; so most of the pet red pandas die because of lacking in proper care. There is a considerable demand for Red Panda in the pet trade market, so poachers stole red pandas from the forest which massively affect their population.
These factors are negatively impacting on the population of Red Pandas and justifying their ‘endangered’ designation. Already the community of Red Panda is under threat. Still, it goes like in this way, very soon Red Panda will become extinct from the wildlife list.
Why is Red Panda hunted?
Hunting is considered as a royal game since from a long time. Now people hunt animals to satisfy their own needs and sometimes for entertainment. Like other animals, Red Pandas are mainly poached or killed for their reddish fur, pelt, meat, and body parts which have extreme value on the black market.
In China and Bhutan, people generally hunt them for their ritual practices. But, in the recent days these cute, little fellows are very close to becoming endangered spices. That is why now they are protected under the Wildlife Act.
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What are Red Pandas used for in the black market?
Usually, the pelts, fur, and meat of Red Panda have high demand in the black market. They are used to produce goods and medicine. Along with the attractive fur and pelts, selling of red panda’s body parts in the black market is widespread also.
But it is a myth that red panda’s body parts contain medical particle which can be used to prepare several traditional medicines. Still, many companies produce medicines from their body parts and sell them in the black market.
Furry felts of Red panda are used to manufacture warm clothes which provide better warmth. People are fascinated with these soft furry clothes and hat or cap. The striped tail of them is used as a feather duster. Moreover, many Chinese people believe that wearing this fur hat or cap at the wedding will ensure the happiness of the married couple.
Additionally, many people love to eat soft and delicious meat of Red Panda. Many people sell their meat in the black market despite being banned globally. Mainly this problem is widely spread in the southern part of China. Several restaurants of China also offered the meat of red panda desperately till 2009, after which it became a huge issue there.
The red panda has an adorable look and size just like a house cat. Their expressive faces and cute appeals make them more popular around the world. This is also a reason why people love to keep them as a pet. The poachers also steal them from the forest to carry on their pet business.
There is a considerable demand for Red Panda at all over the global pet market. It is a big threat to their population, as most of them die during transportation.
Why is hunting Red Panda illegal globally?
Hunting and poaching have endangered the existence of many animals around the world. Even several animals have been extinct already from the earth. Usually, people consider hunting as a fun-filled entertaining game, but the main point is that it leads and spreads violence.
Moreover, few people think hunting keeps nature in balance, but that is not true. Hunting and poaching mess up the balance day by day of the, and we should stop it right now.
In this critical circumstance, only 10,000 red pandas have left all over the world. However, their low birth rate also makes the conservation process more difficult in wildlife.
In recent years Red Pandas are being protected by several local networks and laws which ban the selling and buying of red pandas across the borders and in the global market.
Moreover, selling and buying of their meat, body parts, even the medicines made from the body parts of the red pandas are a punishable offense now. Many treaty organizations and networks make the people aware of the less population of Red Pandas and help to conserve them.
So, we all should be cautious and spread the awareness to secure the life of these cute red pandas. We should not be responsible for demolishing them from the list of existence.