The current status and distribution of the red panda Ailurus fulgens in the wild is poorly known. The subspecies fulgens is found in the Himalaya in Nepal, India, Bhutan, northern Myanmar and southwest China, and the subspecies styani occurs further to the east in south-central China. The red panda is an animal of subtropical and temperate forests, with the exception of Meghalaya in India, where it is also found in tropical forests. In the wild, red pandas take a largely vegetarian diet consisting chiefly of bamboo. The extent of occurrence of the red panda in India is about 170,000 sq km, although its area of occupancy within this may only be about 25,000 sq km. An estimate based on the lowest recorded average density and the total area of potential habitat suggests that the global population of red pandas is about 16,000–20,000. Habitat loss and poaching, in that order, are the major threats. In this paper the distribution, status and conservation problems of the red panda, especially in India, are reviewed, and appropriate conservation measures recommended, including the protection of named areas and the extension of some existing protected areas.