Q:

How many red pandas are left?

A:

Quick Answer

There are fewer than 10,000 red pandas left in the wild as of 2014. They are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, which catalogs the populations of animals and classifies each species' susceptibility to extinction.

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Full Answer

As of 2014, estimates indicate a steady decline of about 10 percent in red panda numbers over the next 30 years. The decrease in red panda populations is due to their highly specialized diet of fresh, young bamboo and human encroachment into their small habitat. Red pandas inhabit the thin strips of mountainous forests north of the Himalayas from Nepal into China. These forests are dwindling due to the rapid growth of surrounding humans. The forests supply humans with firewood for warmth, commercial logging for profit, and land for farming and ranching. Road construction provides ready access to loggers and causes erosion that can lead to landslides. The result is fragmentation in red panda populations, which prompts inbreeding and genetic degradation.

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