Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Chinese (Simplified) (6) (learn more)

Overview

Distribution

Range Description

The Siberian flying squirrel has a wide range in the northern Palaearctic, extending from Finland, Estonia and Latvia eastwards through Russia, Mongolia, northwest China to the Pacific coast (Panteleyev 1998, Sulkava 1999) including the Korean Peninsula and northeast China. It also occurs on the Pacific islands of Sakhalin (Russia) and Hokkaido (Japan). It occurs from sea level up to the tree line (H. Henttonen pers. comm. 2006), and in northern China it occurs up to 2,500 m asl (Smith and Xie, in press). In Mongolia it occurs in forest habitats including the Hövsgöl, Hangai and Hentii mountain ranges, and the western parts of the Mongol Altai Mountain Range.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Geographic Range

Pteromys volans occurs throughout Scandinavia, Russia, across northern Asia to Siberia and south along the Pacific coast of northern China. (Yanagawa et.al 1991)

Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (Native )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Pteromys volans have a membrane that extends between their fore- and hind limbs. Unlike some other species of flying squirrels, Pteromys volans do not have a membrane between their hind limbs and the base of their tail. Their limbs are relatively short and thick and their hind feet are significantly larger than their forefeet. The length of the head and body is 120-228 mm. Pteromys volans have distinct, large, black eyes. Old World flying squirrels have thick, long and soft fur. In the summer, the fur on the back is yellow-gray to blackish gray. In the winter, it becomes silvery gray. The belly remains white throughout the year. The margins of the gliding membrane are bordered with a distinct fringe of soft fur. The tail is flat and is covered with short hair.

(Nowak 1991, Ognev 1966)

Average mass: 130 g.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It prefers mature spruce-dominated forests with a significant proportion of deciduous trees, especially aspen Populus tremula, birch Betula sp. and alder Alnus sp. (Reunanen et al. 2000, 2002). Large deciduous trees are an important source of both food and nest-sites: the flying squirrel feeds primarily on alder and birch catkins in the winter and alder leaves in the summer, and nests in old woodpecker holes or natural cavities in decaying wood. They are nocturnal and do not hibernate. They are found from lowlands to montane regions (Abe, et al., 2005).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Populations of Pteromys volans can be found in forests with aspen, birch, spruce, cedar, or pine trees. They prefer areas with a lot of old, hollow trees for building nests. (Ognev 1966)

Terrestrial Biomes: taiga ; forest

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Pteromys volans are basically herbivores. In the summer, they feed on green plants, young branches, berries and seeds. During the winter months, P. volans consume nuts, catkins, pine cones, and pine needles. Local hunters claim the Old World flying squirrels also eat young birds and eggs from nests. However, there is no scientific evidence of this behavior. (Niethammer 1990, Ognev 1966)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
3.8 years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 11.4 years (captivity)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

The information on the reproduction of Pteromys volans is contradictory and incomplete. The reproduction patterns may differ among subspecies. Pteromys volans has one or two litters a year each consisting of anywhere from 1-6 young. The most recent evidence states that they have two litters, each consisting of 2-3 young, one in May and the other in late June or early July. Gestation lasts for four weeks. (Corbet 1966, Niethammer 1990, Nowak 1991, Ognev 1966)

Average gestation period: 30 days.

Average number of offspring: 2.6.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pteromys volans

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Shar, S., Lkhagvasuren, D., Henttonen, H., Maran, T. & Hanski, I.

Reviewer/s
Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern, although this species is experiencing declines in some parts of its range, they are not at a rate close to 30% over three generations throughout its range. Overall it is very widespread and hence it is currently considered to be Least Concern.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Populations of P. volans are declining in Europe because of habitat destruction due to lumbering. (Nowak 1991)

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
The species continues to decline in many parts of its range owing to loss of old-growth mixed forests. In Finland, it is still locally quite common but declining everywhere, with detailed local studies showing 20-58% declines over periods of 10-20 years (Hanski et al. 2001, Hanski 2006). Declines were noted in all parts of Finland; there were no areas where the population was stable or increasing, and declines are predicted to continue in the future (Hanski 2006). A three year census ending in 2005 estimated the Finnish population at 140,000 females (95% confidence limits 134,800-151,300: Hanski 2006). It has been found at c.50 sites in Estonia (T. Maran pers. comm. 2006). In Russia, it is considered widespread but rare in Karelia, and in the Karelian isthmus its status is similar to that of the Finnish population (A. Tikhonov in litt. 2006). It is considered to be somewhat more common in the St Petersburg area. It is common on Hokkaido in Japan.

Population Trend
Decreasing
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
Modern intensive forestry and logging are the major threats to this species (Hanski et al. 2001). Large tracts of mature boreal forest have been felled and replaced by a managed forest landscape that is a mosaic of semi-natural forest, young saplings, and clear-cut patches. Fragmentation of forests is a particular problem for this species, as flying squirrels are reluctant to cross open areas on the ground. Managed forests also tend to have fewer deciduous trees (which are an essential winter food source), less decaying wood and fewer tree-holes (which are needed for nest-sites). In parts of Russia, it has been estimated that up to 50% of logging is illegal (Kotlobay and Ptichnikov 2002). Illegal logging is particularly destructive, as unsustainable practices such as high-grading or 'skimming' are used, meaning that for every ten trees felled only one or two high-quality logs will be used (Kotlobay and Ptichnikov 2002). The species is also hunted for commercial use of its fur, but this is not considered a major threat at present (Nowak 1991).

In Mongolia, habitat loss caused by selective logging, human-caused fires and natural wildfires in some parts of its range are a threat.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention, and on Annex II* and Annex IV of the EU Habitats and Species Directive, in parts of its range where these apply. It is considered Vulnerable at the national level in Finland (Rassi et al. 2001). The Finnish Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture and Ministry of the Environment have published detailed guidelines on how to deal with flying squirrels in forestry. Specific recommendations include protecting known feeding and nesting sites (usually this means that trees surrounding nesting tree will be protected within 30 m, and "corridors" will be saved so that nesting sites are not isolated) (Anon. 2002, 2003, H. Henttonen pers. comm. 2006). It occurs in a number of protected areas.

It is listed on the Chinese Red List as Vulnerable A1cd.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Pteromys volans are hunted for commercial use of their fur. (Nowak 1991)

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Siberian flying squirrel

The Siberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) is an Old World flying squirrel with a range from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific coast in the east. It is the only species of flying squirrel found in Europe. It is considered vulnerable within the European Union where it is found only in Finland, Estonia and Latvia.

A female Siberian flying squirrel weighs about 150 grams, the males being slightly smaller on average. The body is 13–20 cm long, with a 9–14 cm long flattened tail. The eyes are large and strikingly black. The coat is gray all over, the abdomen being slightly lighter than the back, with a black stripe between the neck and the forelimb. A distinctive feature of flying squirrels is the furry glide membrane or patagium, a flap of skin that stretches between the front and rear legs. By spreading this membrane the flying squirrel may glide from tree to tree across distances of over a hundred metres, and have been known to record a glide ratio of 3.31, but is normally 1-1.5.[2]

Its diet consists of leaves, seeds, cones, buds, sprouts, nuts, berries and occasionally bird eggs and nestlings. When alder and birch catkins are plentiful, the squirrel may store them for the winter in old woodpecker holes or similar nooks.

The squirrels are preyed upon by martens, owls, and cats.

They mate early in the spring. In southern Finland the first mating season begins in late March, with a second mating season occurring in April. After a gestation period of five weeks, the female gives birth to a litter of usually two or three young, each weighing about 5 grams. They preferentially build their nest in holes made by woodpeckers, but they may also nest in birdhouses if the size of the entrance is appropriate. The nest consists of a pile of soft materials (preferably soft beard lichen) into which the squirrel burrows. They can live up to about five years.

They favour old forests with a mix of conifers and deciduous trees. They are mostly nocturnal, being most active late in the evening, although females with young may also feed during the day. They do not hibernate, but in the winter they may sometimes sleep continuously for several days. As shy and nocturnal animals, they are seldom seen. The most common sign of their presence is their droppings, which resemble orange-yellow rice grains and are often found beneath or on top of their nest.

It is the emblem of the Nuuksio National Park in Espoo municipality of Finland due to the density of the population in this region.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shar, S., Lkhavgasuren, D., Henttonen, H., Maran, T. & Hanski, I. (2008). Pteromys volans. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ http://www.outdoors.fi/destinations/nationalparks/nuuksio/Pages/Default.aspx
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!