Red Panda, Ailurus fulgens
February 2011

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(Glatson & Gebauer, 2011) (Groves, 2011) (O'Brien, 1985) (Poglayen-Neuwall, 1990) (Salesa, 2011)

Describer (Date): Ailurus fulgens,  Frederic Cuvier (1825)
                           Ailurus styani, Oldfield Thomas (1902)

Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Mammalia
             Order: Carnivora
                Suborder: Caniformia – "dog-like" carnivores
                    Family: Ailuridae (Gray, 1843)
                                  Species: Ailurus fulgens (Himalaya)
                                  Species: Ailurus styani (China)

                    Family: Canidae – coyotes, dogs, foxes, jackals, wolves
                    Family: Mephitidae – skunks
                    Family: Mustelidae – otters, martens, weasels, wolverines
                    Family: Odobenidae – walruses
                    Family: Otariidae – eared seals, sea lions
                    Family: Phocidae – earless seals, true seals
                    Family: Procyonidae – ringtails, coatis, raccoons
                    Family: Ursidae – bears

Taxonomic History and Nomenclature

Evolutionary History

Cultural History

(Choudhury, 2001) (Roberts & Gittleman, 1984) (Wang, 2008) (Wei & Zhang, 2011) (Yonzon & Hunter, 1991)
Red panda distribution map

Red panda distribution. Click on map
for more detailed distribution at
IUCN website.

From IUCN Ailurus fulgens fact sheet.

Distribution Habitat

(Fisher, 2011) (Roberts, 1981) (Roberts & Gittleman, 1984)

Body Weight: 3.7 - 6.2 kg (~7 - 13 lb)
Head & Body Length: 56 - 62 cm (~22 - 24.5 in)
Tail Length: 28 - 49 cm (~11 - 19 in)

General Pelage Sexual Dimorphism


(Hodgson, 1830) (Reid, Jinchu & Yan, 1991) (Roberts, 1981) (Wei & Zhang, 2011)

*Very few studies of Red pandas in the wild. First serious study by Brian Hodgson in 1830s.

Activity Cycle

From the 1847 description of the Red panda by B.H. Hodgson:

   These quiet inoffensive animals in their
   manners and diet, much resemble the badgers
   of our land, the lemurs of Madagascar and the
   raccoons, coatis and potos of America....In
   general they eschew flesh, fish, insects, and
   reptiles absolutely. But they love milk and
   ghee, and constantly make their way furtively
   into remote dairies and cowherds' cottages to
   possess themselves of those luxuries. Their
   ordinary feeding times are early morn and eve.
   They sleep a deal in the day and dislike strong
   lights, though not nocturnal in their habits of
   seeking food. Their manners are staid and
   tranquil; their movements slow and deliberate.
   They are delicate animals and cannot endure
   heat at all, nor cold well, amply and entirely as
   they are clad in fur. They are not pugnacious
   nor noisy, but remarkably the contrary of both.
   As climbers, no quadrupeds can surpass, and
   very few equal them, but on the ground they
   move awkwardly as well as slowly, yet without
   any special embarrassment."

Click here to see Hodgson's pen and ink drawing of Red pandas.

Territory Size       Social Groups

      General       Aggression Play Communication

      Displays / Visual Signs       Vocalization      Olfaction/Scent Marking                       
Red panda tail

Red pandas are very agile climbers and spend
much of their time in trees.





(Choudhury, 2001) (Kundrait, 2011) (Reid, Jinchu & Yan, 1991) (Roberts & Gittleman, 1984) (Wei & Zhang, 2011)

(Gebauer, 2011) (Hodgson 1847) (Philippa & Ramsay, 2011) (Roberts & Gittleman, 1984) (Roberts & Kessler, 1979)

*Most information in this section comes from a 6-year National Zoo study (Roberts & Kessler, 1979). Altered captive environments and artificial mate selection may affect innate behavior.

Courtship Reproduction Gestation Life Stages

      Birth      Infant – Juvenile (< 1 year)            Adult (1.5 years) Longevity

(Eriksson, 2010) (Glatson AR, 1993) (Glatson, 2011) (Jha, 2011) (Jones, 2011) (Roberts, 1981)

(Choudhury, 2001) (Wang, 2008) (Wei et al., 1999)

Population Status Conservation Threats to survival
Important Web Resources

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