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Red Panda

Survey on Red Panda from Asia

The red panda (which is much smaller than the giant panda) resembles a raccoon in size and appearance. The red panda weighs 3 – 6 kg (7 – 13 lb). It lives in mountain forests with a bamboo understory, at altitudes generally between 1500 and 4800 m (5000 – 15,700′). Red pandas almost exclusively eat bamboo. They are good tree climbers and spend most of their time in trees when not foraging. A female red panda picks a location such as a tree hollow or rock crevice for a maternal den, where she will bear 1 – 5 young. Red pandas are solitary, except for the mating period and the time when a mother and its young are together.

The red panda is found in a mountainous band from Nepal through northeastern India and Bhutan and into China, Laos and northern Myanmar. It is rare and continues to decline. It has already become extinct in 4 of the 7 Chinese provinces in which it was previously found. The major threats to red pandas are loss and fragmentation of habitat due to deforestation (and the resulting loss of bamboo) for timber, fuel and agricultural land; poaching for the pet and fur trades; and competition from domestic livestock.

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Golden Lion Tamarin

Survey on Golden Lion Tamarin from South America

Lion tamarins have a mane derived from long hairs on the top of the head, cheeks and throat. The golden lion tamarin’s color is predominantly golden with occasional orange, brown or black coloration on the tail and forepaws. It weighs about 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) and averages about 25 cm (10″) in head/body length, not counting the tail.

Golden lion tamarins are omnivorous, feeding on fruits, gum, nectar, insects, and small vertebrates. The golden lion tamarin is diurnal and predominantly arboreal. It is usually found at heights of 3 – 10 m (10 – 30′) above the forest floor. It sleeps there at night in tangled vegetation or, more often, in a hole in a tree, such as an abandoned woodpecker nest.

They live in reproductive groups that occupy stable territories. The average number of individuals/group in one study was 5.4.  In the wild, groups usually consist of one breeding adult of each sex and younger animals. Golden lion tamarins are cooperative breeders: all adult members of a group help to carry and feed the offspring of the group, with the adult male commonly doing the largest share. The mother only takes the babies to nurse them.

In the 19th century, the golden lion tamarin occurred in Brazil in the coastal forests of the states of Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo. By the early 1980’s it was known only from remnant forests in the state of Rio de Janeiro in an area of occupied habitat probably totaling considerably less than 900 sq km (350 sq mi). The wild population is currently fragmented into 17 different subpopulations in isolated forest patches throughout its small range.

More than 90% of the original Atlantic coastal forest, which contains the golden lion tamarin’s habitat, has been lost or fragmented to obtain lumber and charcoal and to clear out areas for plantations, cattle pasture, and development. Capture for zoos and private collections also contributed to its decline in the past.  The golden lion tamarin is still under severe threat from continued deforestation, much of which is undertaken to create weekend beach properties. Less than 2% of the forest remains in the region where the golden lion tamarin lives.

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