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Red Panda: Biology and Conservation of the First Panda provides a broad-based overview of the biology of the red panda, Ailurus fulgens. A carnivore that feeds almost entirely on vegetable material and is colored chestnut red, chocolate brown and cream rather than the expected black and white. This book gathers all the information that is available on the red panda both from the field and captivity as well as from cultural aspects, and attempts to answer that most fundamental of questions, 'What is a red panda?' Scientists have long focused on the red panda's controversial taxonomy. Is it in fact an Old World procyonid, a very strange bear or simply a panda?
All of these hypotheses are addressed in an attempt to classify a unique species and provide an in-depth look at the scientific and conservation-based issues urgently facing the red panda today. "Red Panda" not only presents an overview of the current state of our knowledge about this intriguing species but it is also intended to bring the red panda out of obscurity and into the spotlight of public attention. Wide-ranging account of the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) covers all the information that is available on this species both in and ex situ. It discusses the status of the species in the wild, examines how human activities impact on their habitat, and develops projections to translate this in terms of overall panda numbers. It reports on status in the wild, looks at conservation issues and considers the future of this unique species. It includes contributions from long-standing red panda experts as well as those specializing in fields involving cutting-edge red panda research.