Siberian flying squirrel

Pteromys volans

TAXONOMY

Pteromys volans Linnaeus, 1758, "in borealibus Europae, Asiae, et Americae." Seven subspecies are recognized.

OTHER COMMON NAMES English: Russian flying squirrel.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and tail length is 9-13.5 in (23-35 cm); weight 3-5 oz (80-150 g). Upperparts are yellow-gray to blackish gray in summer and silvery gray in winter. Underparts are white.

DISTRIBUTION

Northern Palaearctic, from Finland east through Siberia and south to Mongolia, northern China and Korea, also Hokkaido.

HABITAT

Mature mixed deciduous and coniferous forest. BEHAVIOR

Nocturnal and highly arboreal. Nests communally during the winter.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Seeds, nuts, leaves, catkins, invertebrates and possibly even nestlings.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Information on mating behavior is incomplete. One or two litters produced each year of normally 2-3 young.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Declining across much of its range and protected within Europe. Considered Lower Risk/Near Threatened by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Sometimes nests within buildings, hunted for fur in some parts of Russia. ♦

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