10×14 watercolor enhanced colored pencil. Original unavailable and residing in New Jersey in a private collection.
As of 05-06-15, 2352 views and 10 favorited.
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The Red Panda, (Ailurus fulgens) , is a mostly herbivorous mammal, specialized as a bamboo feeder. It is slightly larger than a domestic cat (40 – 60 cm long, 3 – 6 kg weight). The Red Panda is endemic to the Himalayas in Bhutan, southern China, India, Laos, Nepal, and Myanmar. Red Panda is the state animal in the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the mascot of the Darjeeling international festivals. There is an estimated population of less than 2,500 mature individuals. Their population continues to decline due to habitat fragmentation .
Etymology Ailurus fulgens means “shining cat,” from a Latinized form of the Greek ???? (ailouros), “cat,” and the participial form of the Latin fulgere, “to shine” This name was given to it by Thomas Hardwicke, when he introduced it to Europeans in 1821. The word panda is derived from the Nepali word “ponya” which means bamboo and plant eating animals.
Red Pandas are classified as endangered. No reliable numbers exist for the total population but it is very threatened due to the fragmentation of its natural habitats, their small numbers, and their food specialization needs. In southwest China the Red Panda is hunted for its fur and especially for its highly-valued bushy tail from which hats are produced. In the areas of China, where the Red Panda lives, their fur is often used for local cultural ceremonies and in weddings the bridegroom traditionally carries the hide. The ‘good-luck charm’ hats are used by Chinese newlyweds.
This, and the continuous clearing of the forests, has significantly reduced the population. It is now protected in all countries in which it lives, and the hunting of Red Pandas is illegal everywhere. Nevertheless, poaching continues and they are often illegally hunted and sold to zoos for dumping prices. The IUCN has mandated that small Pandas are a “threatened species“ since 1996, however it is now listed as endangered. It is very difficult to estimate the total population, yet one can assume that they cannot bear much more of a habitat change and that they are in danger of extinction due to the disappearance of the forests and the furtive hunting for its highly-valued tail and fur. (information from Wikipedia)