Earth’s Treasure Chest
Wildlife Mural Mosaic

Lynn Kingham



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Artist Comments: The Chinese name for Red Panda is Firefox, because they are similar in size and fiery colour to a fox. The term firefox has also been propagated by its use in the web browser Mozilla Firefox, which has a logo of a red panda with a fiery tail. Red pandas spend most of their time in trees and eat bamboo almost exclusively. They are found in the mountain forests of the Himalayas and some high mountain areas of China and Burma, but are nearly extinct in the western part of their range. There may be fewer than 2,500 adult red pandas alive today. The red colour of their coats acts as camouflage, allowing them to blend in with the red lichen that occurs in fir trees in China. However, their beautiful coat colour also makes them prey to poachers, who sell their rich, soft pelts. The major threats to red pandas are loss of their habitat and bamboo food source due to deforestation for timber, fuel, and agricultural land. Some scientists fear that the red panda is even more endangered than the giant panda in China.