The world’s gliding mammals are an extraordinary group of animals that have the ability to glide from tree to tree with seemingly effortless grace. There are more than 60 species of gliding mammals including the flying squirrels from Europe and North America, the scaly-tailed flying squirrels from central Africa and the gliding possums of Australia and New Guinea.
One of the keys to conserving species is knowledge of where they occur and what they require.
It is clear from these pages that while some species of gliding mammals are comparatively well understood there are many for which even the most basic biological information is not known. One of the reasons for this lack of information is because of their cryptic nature — being nocturnal — they are difficult and expensive to study and survey in order to gain an accurate estimate of their distribution and abundance.
It is hoped that this text will serve as a motivator for further applied research on this group of mammals. Particular areas of research include further taxonomic studies to identify which populations or subspecies should be recognised as distinct species. Studies are also needed to determine the ecology of many species including their diet, social behaviour, home range and reproduction. The geographical distribution of many species and subspecies also needs to be more accurately determined.