Stop Red Pandas From Becoming Endangered
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Red panda populations are on the decline in the wild. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classifies red pandas as "vulnerable," and estimates that their numbers may have decreased by as much as 40 percent over the last 50 years due to massive habitat loss in their native Nepal, northern Myanmar (Burma) and central China. Poaching and human encroachment are also to blame. Red panda pelts can be found in many local markets in China, where the species is most aggressively hunted.
Like almost all endangered animals, loss of habitat is one of the main reasons for red pandas' dwindling numbers. Red panda habitats, namely Himalayan forests, are being cut down at an alarming rate each year. Usually, these forests are cleared due to logging operations or to convert the forested area into farmland where crops can be grown and cattle can graze.
Poaching is common enough to be a severe problem for red pandas. Their bright, reddish fur and striped tails make them prime targets for those who would sell their pelts for profit. In certain rural areas, hats made from red panda fur were traditionally worn as good luck tokens for special occasions. Some people insist on carrying on this tradition, despite it being illegal. Poachers also kill red pandas due to the mistaken belief that certain red panda body parts have medicinal properties.
Red pandas are appealing animals. They're widely considered to be cute and personable. While it is good that people are fascinated by red pandas and want to learn more about them, there is also a downside to red pandas' popularity: namely, people who like red pandas so much that they want to keep them as pets.
While it may seem fun to keep a red panda as a pet, it is horrible idea because red pandas are not domesticated animals. Unlike dogs or cats, they have not been bred to deal with the stress of captivity. This stress usually leads pet red pandas to become fearful and aggressive toward their owners. Unlike domesticated animals, they cannot be properly trained and require a highly specialized diet. Most pet red pandas die due to a lack of proper care. Since all pet red pandas are illegally stolen from the wild, the illegal pet trade has had a devastating effect on red pandas' wild population.
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