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Home > Smart Living> Environment > On International Red Panda Day, a look at a species in peril

On International Red Panda Day, a look at a species in peril

The third Saturday of every September is celebrated as International Red Panda Day to create awareness about a species listed as endangered on IUCN's Red List

The red panda is not related to the giant panda. It grows to be slightly larger than an average domestic cat; its thick fur and bear-like body make it stand out
The red panda is not related to the giant panda. It grows to be slightly larger than an average domestic cat; its thick fur and bear-like body make it stand out (Photo by Mathias Appel/Wikimedia Commons)
A red panda at the Cincinnati Zoo. The red panda is found in many parts of India but loss of habitat and poaching have caused a decline in its population. 
A red panda at the Cincinnati Zoo. The red panda is found in many parts of India but loss of habitat and poaching have caused a decline in its population.  (Photo by Greg Hume/Wikimedia Commons)
Red Panda amongst the ginkgo trees. Red pandas are excellent climbers, and forage largely in trees.
Red Panda amongst the ginkgo trees. Red pandas are excellent climbers, and forage largely in trees. (Wikimedia Commons)
Red pandas eat everything from bamboo to berries — and that is why deforestation and fragmentation of their natural habitat is one of the biggest threats to them. Their population trend is declining.
Red pandas eat everything from bamboo to berries — and that is why deforestation and fragmentation of their natural habitat is one of the biggest threats to them. Their population trend is declining. (iStock)
Poaching is the next big threat, with only 14,500-15,000 individuals left in the wild. The red panda is hunted for its meat, fur, and often collected for trade in the exotic pet business.
Poaching is the next big threat, with only 14,500-15,000 individuals left in the wild. The red panda is hunted for its meat, fur, and often collected for trade in the exotic pet business. (Photo by Mathias Appel/Wikimedia Commons)

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