Red pandas are very rare creatures in the world that are likely to go extinct. However, many people love them and so much effort goes into improving their survival rate in the wild.
Come to think of it – why do red pandas even matter?
Keep reading as we explain in detail how red pandas are important species to the world.
Table of contents
- They’re Unique Creatures
- Red Pandas are the “Original” Pandas
- Red Pandas are the Only Members of Their Family (Ailuridae)
- Red Pandas Keep Bamboo in Shape
- They’re Indicators of the well-being of the Eastern Himalayan Forests
- They’re Ambassadors for Their Habitat and Region
- They Balance the Ecosystem
- Red Pandas Make Great Tourist Attractions
- Red Pandas are Living Proofs That Conservation Works
- Red Pandas Encourage Afforestation
- They Add to the World’s Animal Biodiversity
- Final Thoughts
They’re Unique Creatures
Red pandas are carnivores by nature that prefer to survive mainly on bamboo other than meat. They are unique bamboo-eating creatures. One of the few we have in the world today.
Interestingly, the amazing life of these creatures has earned them a special day.
Red pandas are always celebrated worldwide on the third Saturday of September every year – “International Red Panda Day”.
Above all, red pandas are clearly natural gifts to the world. They matter a lot and are worth saving!
Red Pandas are the “Original” Pandas
In addition, they are one of the two kinds of pandas in the world today. But you should know red pandas are the original pandas. This makes them very special.
Furthermore, they were first discovered in 1825. This was almost 50 years before the giant pandas were even discovered.
In addition to this, they were the first creatures to bear the “panda” name due to their bamboo-eating lifestyle. Interestingly, due to their uniqueness, they’ve earned a special day for themselves.
Red Pandas are the Only Members of Their Family (Ailuridae)
Unfortunately, red pandas are not only rare but also the only members of the Ailuridae family of mammals. And their low population has been a cause of concern.
As the world often discovers new animals and new species, there’s every need to protect the existence of the ones already known.
For most animals, many factors endanger them in the wild leading to the extinction of their species. However, it’s better if an extinct species has living relatives left in the world than none.
Many factors endanger the red pandas and reduce their population in the wild. And this is bad for a creature that is the only living member of its family (Ailuridae).
This makes them very important. Amazingly, a lot of conservative efforts have been put in place to preserve this sole member of the Ailuridae family.
Losing them means the extinction of the entire Ailuridae family.
RECOMMENDED READING: ARE RED PANDAS EXTINCT?
Red Pandas Keep Bamboo in Shape
Bamboo is a very invasive plant. It can keep spreading as long as it’s untouched. Bamboo overgrowth can affect other plants around them.
It’s able to block sunlight from reaching other plants around that need it. Moreover, bamboo can cause the degradation of other plants it covers.
Hence, there’s a need to control its spread. This is where red pandas come in. As greedy bamboo eaters, they eat lots of bamboo shoots and leaves a day.
What’s more, red pandas avoid predators on the forest ground, so they mostly feed from the top of the bamboo. This is just similar to pruning a plant!
We can say red pandas are natural bamboo pruners. And this is a way they contribute to a healthy ecosystem.
They’re Indicators of the well-being of the Eastern Himalayan Forests
Another way red pandas matter is their presence in the area they naturally live. As part of conservation, the well-being of natural habitats is important.
Moreover, the Eastern Himalayan forests happen to be the red pandas’ region. So scientists and conservationists use the presence of these creatures to study the overall health of this region.
In addition, red pandas can sometimes migrate to another area in their natural habitat. And they do this in search of better conditions or more rich food sources.
Hence, this shift to another area can suggest that the previous area needs improvement. And this observation can help conservationists study the area and work towards improving it.
They’re Ambassadors for Their Habitat and Region
Red pandas represent their entire natural region. And this equally means they represent every other animal species that live in the same region as them.
Some of these animals include the clouded leopards, the Yellow-throated martens, the barking deer, and birds (about 1000 species). There are many other species and red pandas stand for them all!
Red pandas matter for being symbols of their natural region. Moreover, they are considered first when discussing the species living in their area.
They Balance the Ecosystem
Red pandas are important as prey animals in the wild. Moreover, every predator depends on the availability of prey animals to survive.
A red panda’s main predators are snow leopards and martens. These creatures depend on red pandas and other prey animals to survive.
There’s a relationship between prey and predators in every ecosystem. And this relationship helps to structure the ecosystem.
Above all, you should know that predation is not a major reason why red pandas are endangered in the wild.
Red Pandas Make Great Tourist Attractions
People love red pandas. And just like any other popular animals, these creatures are tourist attractions themselves. They might not be as famous as the giant pandas but they still draw crowds too.
Many people, including tourists from around the world, visit zoos to see red pandas. So these creatures’ presence in zoos can improve both the attendance and value of a zoo.
Red Pandas are Living Proofs That Conservation Works
Red pandas in the wild keep reducing in numbers. Hence, without human conservative efforts, these lesser pandas would have been extinct a long time ago.
Red pandas have been protected and bred in captivity with the aim of saving them. And the progress so far proves that a threatened animal species can escape extinction if humans help.
Their existence to date is solid proof that conservative efforts really help species to survive.
Red Pandas Encourage Afforestation
As arboreal creatures, red pandas will always need trees in their natural habitat. These creatures live in trees.
In addition, when conserving and protecting the red panda species, one of the things conservationists consider is their habitat. Red pandas’ natural habitats are equally preserved aside from the creatures themselves.
As their numbers improve in the wild, there’s a need to plant more trees in areas these lesser pandas call their homes. They are loners and territorial.
For this reason, a single red panda’s territory is normally large with lots of trees in it. Hence, planting trees is the major way to conserve and expand the red pandas’ habitat.
Generally, trees help in maintaining the natural environment. These trees also serve as home to other animals in the red panda’s habitat.
People living around in the red panda’s habitat also benefit from trees. Above all, planting trees for red pandas also serves other purposes. And the more red pandas, the more trees.
They Add to the World’s Animal Biodiversity
Not only do red pandas add to the millions of animal species in the world, but also to the unique ones.
There are many animals that share similar features and lifestyles with other species. However, red pandas are the only thing like red pandas. They have no relatives, or any worthy look alike.
If they go extinct, the world loses everything relating to the red panda. What’s more, we lose one of the world’s unique natural heritage.
In summary, red pandas matter due to many reasons. These creatures are rare but also unique creatures on the planet. This uniqueness is visible in their appearance and their lifestyles.
In addition, the red pandas’ presence helps in the study of their natural habitats. These creatures are equally representatives of their regions as well as other species living around them.
Furthermore, as the only living members of their Ailuridae family, red pandas matter a lot to the world. So conserving these creatures is very important!
Are you wondering how amazing these creatures are? They are very popular tourist attractions in zoos.
And if they don’t interest you, you’re probably yet to know about the 7 amazing things red pandas can do.