Logo: Gliding mammals of the world

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.

IUCN Red List Categories

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN’s mission is to “influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable”.

Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups, specified through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation.

Extinct

A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died. A taxon is presumed Extinct when exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitat, at appropriate times (diurnal, seasonal, annual), throughout its historic range have failed to record an individual. Surveys should be over a time frame appropriate to the taxon’s life cycle and life form.

Extinct in the Wild

A taxon is Extinct in the Wild when it is known only to survive in cultivation, in captivity or as a naturalised population (or populations) well outside the past range. A taxon is presumed Extinct in the Wild when exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitat, at appropriate times (diurnal, seasonal, annual), throughout its historic range have failed to record an individual. Surveys should be over a time frame appropriate to the taxon’s life cycle and life form.

Critically Endangered

A taxon is Critically Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it is considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

Northern Glider / Petaurus abidi
Northern Glider

Petaurus abidi

Namdapha Flying Squirrel / Biswamoyopterus biswasi
Namdapha Flying Squirrel

Biswamoyopterus biswasi

Endangered

A taxon is Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it is considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

Mahogany Glider / Petaurus gracilis
Mahogany Glider

Petaurus gracilis

Sipora Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes sipora
Sipora Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes sipora

Flying Squirrel / Iomys sipora Mentawai
Flying Squirrel

Iomys sipora Mentawai

Siberut Flying Squirrel / Petinomys lugens
Siberut Flying Squirrel

Petinomys lugens

Smoky Flying Squirrel / Pteromyscus pulverulentus
Smoky Flying Squirrel

Pteromyscus pulverulentus

Vulnerable

A taxon is Vulnerable when the best available evidence indicates that it is considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Whiskered Flying Squirrel / Petinomys genibarbis
Whiskered Flying Squirrel

Petinomys genibarbis

Vordermann’s Flying Squirrel / Petinomys vordermanni
Vordermann’s Flying Squirrel

Petinomys vordermanni

Near Threatened

A taxon is Near Threatened when it has been evaluated against the criteria but does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable now, but is close to qualifying or is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.

North Chinese Flying Squirrel / Aeretes melanopterus
North Chinese Flying Squirrel

Aeretes melanopterus

Palawan Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes nigripes
Palawan Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes nigripes

Travancore Flying Squirrel / Petinomys fuscocapillus
Travancore Flying Squirrel

Petinomys fuscocapillus

Complex-toothed Flying Squirrel / Trogopterus xanthipes
Complex-toothed Flying Squirrel

Trogopterus xanthipes

Least Concern

A taxon is Least Concern when it has been evaluated against the criteria and does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

Feathertail Glider / Acrobates pygmaeus
Feathertail Glider

Acrobates pygmaeus

Yellow-bellied Glider / Petaurus australis
Yellow-bellied Glider

Petaurus australis

Biak Glider / Petaurus biacensis
Biak Glider

Petaurus biacensis

Sugar Glider / Petaurus breviceps
Sugar Glider

Petaurus breviceps

Squirrel Glider / Petaurus norfolcensis
Squirrel Glider

Petaurus norfolcensis

Greater Glider / Petauroides volans
Greater Glider

Petauroides volans

Philippine Colugo / Cynocephalus volans
Philippine Colugo

Cynocephalus volans

Malayan Colugo / Galeopterus variegatus
Malayan Colugo

Galeopterus variegatus

Kashmir Flying Squirrel / Eoglaucomys fimbriatus
Kashmir Flying Squirrel

Eoglaucomys fimbriatus

Northern Flying Squirrel / Glaucomys sabrinus
Northern Flying Squirrel

Glaucomys sabrinus

Southern Flying Squirrel / Glaucomys volans
Southern Flying Squirrel

Glaucomys volans

Particolored Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes alboniger
Particolored Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes alboniger

Red-cheeked Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes spadiceus
Red-cheeked Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes spadiceus

Javanese Flying Squirrel / Iomys horsfieldi
Javanese Flying Squirrel

Iomys horsfieldi

Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus emiliae
Lesser Pygmy Flying Squirrel

Petaurillus emiliae

Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel / Petaurista leucogenys
Japanese Giant Flying Squirrel

Petaurista leucogenys

Red Giant Flying Squirrel / Petaurista petaurista
Red Giant Flying Squirrel

Petaurista petaurista

Indian Giant Flying Squirrel / Petaurista philippensis
Indian Giant Flying Squirrel

Petaurista philippensis

Chinese Giant Flying Squirrel / Petaurista xanthotis
Chinese Giant Flying Squirrel

Petaurista xanthotis

Basilan Flying Squirrel / Petinomys crinitus
Basilan Flying Squirrel

Petinomys crinitus

Mindanao Flying Squirrel / Petinomys mindanensis
Mindanao Flying Squirrel

Petinomys mindanensis

Japanese Flying Squirrel / Pteromys momonga
Japanese Flying Squirrel

Pteromys momonga

Data Deficient

A taxon is Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make a direct or indirect assessment of its risk of extinction based on its distribution and/or population status. A taxon in this category may be well studied, and its biology well known, but appropriate data on abundance and/or distribution are lacking. Data Deficient is therefore not a category of threat. Listing of taxa in this category indicates that more information is required and acknowledges the possibility that future research will show that threatened classification is appropriate. It is important to make positive use of whatever data are available. In many cases, great care should be exercised in choosing between Data Deficient and a threatened status. If the range of a taxon is suspected to be relatively circumscribed, and a considerable period of time has elapsed since the last record of the taxon, threatened status may well be justified.

Black Flying Squirrel / Aeromys tephromelas
Black Flying Squirrel

Aeromys tephromelas

Bartel’s Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes bartelsi
Bartel’s Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes bartelsi

Grey-cheeked Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes platyurus
Grey-cheeked Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes platyurus

Sumatran Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes winstoni
Sumatran Flying Squirrel

Hylopetes winstoni

Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel / Petaurillus kinlochii
Selangor Pygmy Flying Squirrel

Petaurillus kinlochii

Not Evaluated

A taxon is Not Evaluated when it is has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.

Yunnan Giant Flying Squirrel / Petaurista yunanensis
Yunnan Giant Flying Squirrel

Petaurista yunanensis

Random species

Yellow-bellied Glider / Petaurus australis

Yellow-bellied Glider
Petaurus australis

Palawan Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes nigripes

Palawan Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes nigripes

Smoky Flying Squirrel / Pteromyscus pulverulentus

Smoky Flying Squirrel
Pteromyscus pulverulentus


Gliding Mammals of the World provides, for the first time, a synthesis of all that is known about the biology of these intriguing mammals. It includes a brief description of each species, together with a distribution map and a beautiful full-color painting.

An introduction outlines the origins and biogeography of each group of gliding mammals and examines the incredible adaptations that allow them to launch themselves and glide from tree to tree.