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.

Biak Glider

Biak Glider / Petaurus biacensis
Petaurus biacensis

Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Petauridae

Description: A relatively small glider with rich, largely uniform, tawny to chocolate-brown colouration, which distinguishes it from all other Petaurus gliders.

Distribution: only gliding mammal to occur on the islands in the Schouten Group off the north-west coast of Papua. It is common on Biak and Supiori Islands, and is known from a single specimen from the Owi Islands, which was initially described as Petaurus kholsi. On these islands it is common around gardens and village surrounds in the Korido area of Supiori and in eastern Biak Islands.

Reproduction: Females have been collected with one and two pouch young in September.

Diet: Little is known of its diet. Several individuals have been captured while feeding on bananas and a group of six were captured in a hollow in a Mangrove Tree (Bruguiera sp.) near a village.

Ecology: Little is known.

Status: Least Concern.

Note: The Biak Glider was previously recognised as a subspecies of the Sugar Glider until it was separated and identified as a full species.

Biak Glider / Petaurus biacensis
Biak Glider
Petaurus biacensis
Distribution: Biak Glider
HB140–150 mm
TL145–175 mm
HF20–26 mm
M88–100 g

Other species:


Northern Glider / Petaurus abidi
Northern Glider

Petaurus abidi

Yellow-bellied Glider / Petaurus australis
Yellow-bellied Glider

Petaurus australis

Sugar Glider / Petaurus breviceps
Sugar Glider

Petaurus breviceps

Mahogany Glider / Petaurus gracilis
Mahogany Glider

Petaurus gracilis

Random species

Kashmir Flying Squirrel / Eoglaucomys fimbriatus

Kashmir Flying Squirrel
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus

Sumatran Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes winstoni

Sumatran Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes winstoni


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.