Skip to main content

Red panda

Ailurus fulgens fulgens

Red pandas are also known as ‘lesser’ panda or ‘firefox’. Red panda spend most of their time in trees when they are not searching for food on the ground.

Their sharp claws make them agile climbers and they use their long, striped tails for balance. They look slightly awkward walking on the ground, with their tails held horizontally behind them. It was originally thought that this species was related to the raccoon family or even the giant panda. They have since been classified as a unique species in their own family, called Ailuridae.

Animal class


Conservation status

The IUCN believes that the red panda faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. The species is listed under Appendix I of CITES.




Red pandas have already become extinct in some regions of China. Their total population is believed to be less than 20,000 and it is continuing to decline.


Omnivore. Red pandas eat mainly bamboo but will also take berries, blossoms, bird eggs and even small birds.