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.
Description: A large flying squirrel with reddish-chestnut to maroon fur which is grizzled with white. It has a dark brown stripe running from its head to the base of its tail.
This contrasts strongly with distinct yellowish to cream-buff patches on its shoulders which are bordered laterally by deep russet sides and gliding membranes. Its underside and feet are a light rufous to ochraceous colour, with the tail being a deep brown at the base, shading into rufous for most of the length until it reaches the black tip.
Distribution: Occurs from Nepal and Sikkim to the Darjeeling District (northern West Bengal) in India. It is also found in southern Tibet (= Xizang) and Bhutan. A specimen has been found in Donglee (Tonglee) gully in the Himalayas.
It appears to prefer deciduous forests to true evergreen forests in northern India (at an elevation of
Reproduction: Not much is known except that at the time when the young are born, only the mother and young occupy the nest.
Diet: Feeds on acorns, chestnuts, other hard fruit and young leaves and shoots. In Nepal it has been seen feeding on bark exuding a gummy secretion. It also feeds avidly on insects, particularly termites, and sometimes on fresh grass, especially newly sprouting grass during March.
Ecology: Spends the day in a shelter hole in a tree at a height of approximately
Status: Least Concern.
|M||c. 1350–1780 g|