Deforestation and the Red Panda

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English 101 October 2, 2013 Deforestation and the Red Panda Deforestation is the cutting down of a forest. Forests are cut down for many reasons, including logging, farming, and housing. Deforestation can have many harmful effects, including loss of habitat for many different plants and animal species. Because of deforestation, many plant and animal species (some known and unknown to us) are lost due to the loss of habitat. About 50 thousand species of animals and plants disappear in result of deforestation every year. Seventy percent of plants and animals live in forests, but when their homes are destroyed, many cannot survive. The trees of a rain forest provide shelter for some species and provide the canopy that regulates the temperature. Cutting down the forest trees causes drastic temperature changes making the forest similar to a desert, in which inhabitants cannot survive. One animal specific that has been affected by loss of habitat is the red panda, also known as the fire fox or lesser panda. (National Geographic Society 1) The red panda has small features, similar to those of a cat, and they resemble raccoons. Its scientific name means fire-colored cat. The red panda has an elongated bone in its wrist that functions as a sixth digit or thumb to help grip bamboo stalks, like its relative the giant panda. They weigh anywhere from seven to fourteen pounds. The red panda have red and white marking that blend in with the white lichens and red mosses that grow on trees in which they live. According to Smithsonian National Zoo, “The red pandas are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of threatened species because of habitat loss. There are fewer than 10,000 adult red pandas”. The red panda is found in Yunnan provinces in China, western Sichuan, and northern Myanmar. They live in forests where thick bamboo grows. The red panda mainly eat bamboo leaves and

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