What’s In a Name: Why Red Pandas?

It’s no secret that here at Red Panda Coffee Co, we are pretty fond of red pandas. I mean, it’s literally our name. Plenty of companies are passionate about their philanthropies, but do you ever catch yourself scrolling on your fav business’ site wondering, “Why did they choose this cause?” Well, let us tell you. We love red pandas, but it wouldn’t be fair to keep this amazing species all to ourselves. As cute as they are, red pandas are also an integral part of our ecosystem and the conservation of their species needs to be a priority.

What is a Red Panda?

The red panda species actually belongs to a classification category of its very own, now known to be Ailuridae. Red pandas were originally thought to be part of the racoon family, but this was recently proven to be false. The species grows to be only a little larger than the typical housecat, though its body closely resembles that of a bear. Pretty cool, right? We think so, too.

Are Red Pandas Really Pandas?

Technically, giant pandas and red pandas are not from the same family, but they do share some striking similarities. Those similarities are:

  • Their False Thumbs

  • This “thumb” is an extension of the wrist bone that rotates like an ankle and helps them to climb down from trees. Both the giant and red pandas share this odd feature.

  • A Love for Bamboo

  • Both species of pandas love a good taste of bamboo, but where giant pandas survive nearly entirely off of the plant, red pandas have a diet filled with variety.

  • Red Pandas were actually named before the giant panda, making them the first panda species to exist.

  • Funny enough, red pandas were discovered and named a full 47 years before the giant panda! Experts named the gentle giant after the similarities they showed to the species of the red panda.

Where do Red Pandas Live?

Red Pandas inhabit the mountains of Nepal, north Myanmar and China. Most red pandas spend a majority of their lives in the treetops, sometimes never even reaching the ground. As naturally nocturnal animals, red pandas are most active in the darkest hours of the night, meaning their interactions with humans in the wild are few and far between. When raised by humans, however, red pandas are known to be active at all hours of the day, spending about 45% of each day awake.

Why do Red Pandas Need Our Help?

  • There may be as few as 2,500 red pandas remaining in the wild.

  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists red pandas as a critically endangered species.

  • Red pandas are the last living species in the taxonomic family, making them a time capsule of the past.

  • The preservation of red pandas is not only necessary to save the species itself, but to maintain the world’s natural global diversity and heritage.

Why is Saving Red Pandas So Important?

The conservation of the red panda species makes an incredible impact in more than just the livelihood of the species. The necessity of this conservation effort is seen in the following:

  • Combating Global Climate Change

  • Forests that house red pandas act as the lungs of South Asia. Only if these forests are intact can they help to combat global climate change and ensure a healthy life for the people, animals and nature of South Asia.

  • Preserving the Ecological Integrity of South Asia

  • The mountain ranges of the Himalaya and southwesten China are where the three largest rivers in South Asia begin. These rivers act as a water source for over half of China, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar.

  • Protecting a Global Diversity Hotspot

  • Red pandas are a strong indicator of ecological balance and health in the Eastern Himalayan Broadleaf Forest.

  • Saving the Trees

  • Red pandas, other wildlife and the human species all depend on trees for survival. Protecting the red panda habitat lessens deforestation and provides our world cleaner air, cleaner oceans and reduced runoff.

Why are We Called Red Panda?

It’s our mission. We care about our coffee, but we care about the world first and foremost. Let’s change things together, shall we?

“The mission of Red Panda Coffee Co is to provide our community with high-quality single-origin coffee as well as contribute to the conservation and preservation of red pandas. For every coffee bag that’s sold, Red Panda Coffee Company donates 10% towards the Red Panda Network.”

For more information or to purchase your own bag of Red Panda Coffee Co. coffee, visit:

101 views0 comments