What are the predators of Red Pandas?

On our planet, every kind of animal exists in the form of cuteness and ugliness. When someone thinks of ugly animals, they might think of naked mole rats. But when they search for the cutest animals, the red panda is likely to be at the top of the list.

Red pandas are considered to be the cutest animals on the planet. Unfortunately, they are currently an endangered species on Earth.

An important question arises here: Are red pandas endangered due to predatory attacks? And if so, what are the predators of red pandas?

Today, we will explore the predators of red pandas and how they protect themselves from them.

What are the predators of Red Pandas?

What are the predators of Red Pandas?

Red pandas are medium-sized animals and easily prey on other large animals. The animals that eat red pandas include snow leopards and martins. Both animals prefer to hunt red panda’s cubs.

The primary reason red pandas are attacked by these animals is due to the similarity of their habitats. Red pandas live in the Himalayan mountain regions, and snow leopards also inhabit high-altitude Himalayan regions. Snow leopards can be found in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Russia, and China.

On the other hand, martens that look like weasels but are slightly larger also inhabit the mountainous regions of Canada and Alaska. Although martens do not hunt red pandas on a daily basis, as they mainly eat other small mammals, birds, and rodents.

Do Snow Leopards really hunt red pandas?

Snow leopards can grow up to 3.25 to 4.25 feet in length while red panda can grow 1.6 to 2 feet. So, they can easily prey on snow leopards.

Red pandas prefer to live alone and spend most of their time during the twilight hours, which are usually early morning and evening.

During these hours, leopards are active and often wait in a particular spot for their prey. They hunt very quickly, thanks to their impressive running ability; however, running on snow is more challenging than on land.

On the other hand, red pandas that cannot run fast but with a maximum speed of only 24 mph are easily preyed upon by snow leopards when the leopards spot them.

So, it is safe to say that snow leopards can catch red pandas without any difficulty.

How do Martens hunt red pandas?

Martens typically eat small mammals like rodents and squirrels, but sometimes they can eat birds, eggs, and fruits. How do they hunt red pandas?” is a common question that arises here.

Generally, both red pandas and martens are skilled climbers and red pandas often conceal themselves in trees. However, when martens spot them, they catch them and have a meal.

Martens also have a powerful bite force of 380 psi, and they bite at their prey’s neck.

Martens, which look similar to weasels, are a group of eight species that inhabit Canada, the United States, and other parts of the world. One of the largest martens is the yellow-throated marten, which lives in mountainous regions.

Red pandas are often hunted by martens due to the presence of martens in Himalayan regions. Pine martens are a species of marten well-known for their climbing behavior on trees and excellent climbing skills.

How do red pandas protect themself from predators?

Generally, red pandas are shy animals and often live alone rather than in groups. So, when they feel danger, they first try to flee from predators from the current place, and then they apply other tactics.

They also have retractable claws like cats, but these claws cannot protect them from predators like snow leopards. The only way they can protect themselves is through their climbing skills, as they are able to hide in trees.

Below are some tactics that red pandas use to protect themself from predators, including humans:

  • Arboreal Lifestyle: Red pandas spend most of their time in trees. Their retractable claws and long, bushy tails help them to climb between trees. This arboreal lifestyle protects them from predators.
  • Alertness: Red pandas have keen senses of smell that they use for signs of danger. They rely on their sharp hearing to detect approaching predators.
  • Vocalizations: Red pandas can emit warning calls such as quack, hisses, or barks to deter predators or alert nearby individuals.
  • Nocturnal Behavior: Red pandas are primarily crepuscular, and they are most active during dawn, dusk, and nighttime when snow leopards & other predators are less active.

Are Red Pandas Endangered Due to Predatory Attacks?

Typically, red pandas face less threat from snow leopards and martens, but they are more vulnerable to humans and habitat loss.

The other reason for the endangered status of red pandas is the low rate of cub growth in the wild. Usually, a female red panda gives birth to 1 to 4 cubs in a year after a 134-day gestation period.

In June 2023, twin rare red panda cubs were born in the Longleat Safari Park in the UK. Actually, the zoo informed us on their social media account about this in September, but the cubs were born in June.

Now, both cubs are in good health, and I’m excited to hear this because it is not usual to breed endangered species that are going extinct.

As of February 2024, there are only 10,000 red pandas left, according to Az-animals. However, some experts believe that there are only 2500 red pandas left in the world.

This is a very alarming situation for us if these beautiful creatures tend to become extinct. Our future generations will not be able to witness such awesome animals on Earth.

Generally, humans are a major threat to red pandas as most people like to keep red pandas as pets. Most people tend to buy these animals through illegal trade because the actual price of a red panda is $2,500 to $5,000.

In most countries, red pandas are illegal to keep as pets, but some states allow them with special permits.


What predators pose a threat to red pandas in the wild?

Snow leopards and martens are the primary predators known to prey on red pandas. Humans also a threat to the red panda population through illegal trade and habitat loss.

Are martens a significant threat to red pandas?

Although martens are smaller predators than snow leopards, they still pose a threat to red pandas, especially cubs, who are more vulnerable.

Are there any efforts to protect red pandas from predators?

The IUCN has taken many actions to protect red pandas from extinction, like protecting their habitat, reducing the health issues in red pandas, and stopping illegal trading.

Do animals other than snow leopards and martens prey on red pandas?

Snow leopards and martens are primary predators, while other threats include large birds like eagles or owls and smaller carnivores that can prey on red pandas.

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