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.

Bhutan Giant Flying Squirrel

Bhutan Giant Flying Squirrel / Petaurista nobilis
Petaurista nobilis

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae, Pteromyini

Description: One of the largest flying squirrels, its fur is bright chestnut brown with yellow tips to some of the hairs and pale rufous beneath.

Similar to Hodgson’s Giant Flying Squirrel, and unlike all other giant flying squirrels, it has distinct buff-yellow to buff-orange patches on the shoulders, extending along the sides of its body, isolating a distinct maroon saddle.

Distribution: Occurs in Nepal to Sikkim in India. A second population occurs in Bhutan. Its habitat consists of forested regions at an elevation of 1670–3000 metres.

Reproduction: Appears to breed between March and April.

Diet: Nothing is known.

Ecology: Nothing is known.

Status: Near Threatened.

Note: This species was formerly included within the Hodgson’s Giant Flying Squirrel, but is now recognised as a distinct species.

Bhutan Giant Flying Squirrel / Petaurista nobilis
Bhutan Giant Flying Squirrel
Petaurista nobilis
Distribution: Bhutan Giant Flying Squirrel
HB347–490 mm
TL378–490 mm
HFc. 77.5 mm
Mc. 2710 g
Subspecies:

Petaurista nobilis nobilis — Nepal, and Darjeeling, northern West Bengal and Sikkim, India.

Petaurista nobilis singhei — Gomchu Valley, Bhutan.

Other species:


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

Random species

Sugar Glider / Petaurus breviceps

Sugar Glider
Petaurus breviceps

Bartel’s Flying Squirrel / Hylopetes bartelsi

Bartel’s Flying Squirrel
Hylopetes bartelsi


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.