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arboreal mammal- Shanmugam IAS academy in coimbatore
arboreal mammal


What’s in news?

The 4-year-old red panda was found dead in his enclosure with an unknown cause.

Key data’s:

In Birmingham Zoo, Alabama, a red panda named as ‘Parker’ died in its enclosure with no obvious physical injuries or any indication of illness.

About Red Panda:

  • It is small arboreal mammal – a mammal that spends half his life or more in trees.
  • It is an herbivore slightly larger than a domestic cat with a bear-like body and thick russet fur.
  • IUCN: Listed in “Endangered” category.
  • Name origination: The name has come from Nepal’s word “Ponyabamboo or plant eating animal.
  • Other names: The species is also known as lesser panda, the red bear-cat, and the red cat-bear.
  • Habitat distribution: The mammal has distributed across the world in the forests of India, Nepal, Bhutan and the northern mountains of Myanmar and southern China.
    • Particularly in India, it is found in, Sikkim, western Arunachal Pradesh, Darjeeling district of West Bengal and parts of Meghalaya.
  • It is endemic to the temperate forests of the Himalayas
  • Among the Indian States, Arunachal Pradesh hold the largest red panda population in the country.
  • Feed on: It primarily feed on Bamboo but also feed on eggs, birds, and insects.
  • It is an “Nocturnal Animal’ – active during the night times than day.
  • Threat: The threat for the mammal is;
    • Hunting – for meat and fur
    • Poaching – for pet trade
    • Habitat loss and fragmentation
    • Inbreeding depression

Physical characteristics:

  • Altitude: It lives at an altitude of 2,200 and 4,800 m with a moderate temperature between 10 and 25 °C (50 and 77 °F).
  • It prefers mountainous mixed deciduous and conifer forests, especially with old trees and dense understories of bamboo.
  • Body length: About 50 to 64 cm including its tail.
  • Weight: 7 to 6.2 kg (for male) and 3 to 6.0 kg (female). arboreal mammal

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