Red giant flying squirrel

Petaurista petaurista

TAXONOMY

Petaurista petaurista (Pallas, 1766), no locality stated, likely western Java, Indonesia. The number of subspecies is uncertain; it is highly variable in color and size across its range.

OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and tail length 35-48 in (89-122 cm); weight 2.3-5.5 lb (1,050-2,500 g). Fur has a mahogany-red coloring, and the gliding membrane is thickly haired.

DISTRIBUTION

Afghanistan east through south and Southeast Asia down to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo.

HABITAT

Forest and plantations often at altitudes above 2,250 ft (750 m). BEHAVIOR

Nocturnal, seldom coming to the ground and gliding large distances between trees for feeding.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Shoots, leaves, and fruits.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Generally monogamous and giving birth to one or two young. Young develop slowly and are not weaned until about 3 months old.

CONSERVATION STATUS

A widespread species, although some highly distinctive populations are locally threatened.

I Petaurillus hosei I Petaurista petaurista

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Hunted for food and fur across parts of its range. ♦

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