Petaurista alborufus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Petaurista alborufus
Species Authority: (Milne-Edwards, 1870)
Common Name(s):
English Red And White Giant Flying Squirrel
Taxonomic Notes: Oshida et al. (2000) suggests that Petaurista alborufus lena (Taiwanese form) may warrant taxonomic distinction based on karyological differences from mainland forms. Chinese Petaurista from Qinghai and Gansu attributed to alborufus probably represent P. xanthotis (Smith and Xie 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in many protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in China in the provinces of Shaanxi, Hunan (CSIS 2008), Guangxi, Sichuan, Gansu, Hubei, Guizhou, and Yunnan, and including Taiwan (Smith and Xie 2008). It is likely that this species' southern distribution extends into Myanmar; however, there are no known specimens collected from within the country. It occupies elevations ranging from 800-3,500 m asl, most often from 2,000-3,000 m asl (Smith and Xie 2008). Observations confirm sympatric distribution with Hylopetes alboniger, P. phillipensis and Trogopterus xanthipes (Smith and Xie 2008).
China (Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan); Taiwan, Province of China
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are currently no data regarding the population status of this species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits dense montane forest, limestone cliffs, and in Taiwan hardwood (preferred) and conifer forests (Smith and Xie 2008). They are nocturnal and nest in high tree hollows (Smith and Xie 2008).

This species has low fecundity, with litter sizes of 1-2 (Lee et al. 1993a; Smith and Xie 2008). They feed on acorns, other nuts, fruits and leafy vegetation, as well as insects, larvae and perhaps bird eggs (Smith and Xie 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species throughout its range. Hunting may be a threat in Taiwan where it is a major game species (Lee et al. 1993b).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Research is needed to determine the extent of the north-west distribution, as the distruibution in Qinghai and Gansu may belong to P. xanthotis, not P. alborufus. It occurs in the following nature reserves; Daozhendashahe, Mayanghe, Leigongshan, Xishuizhongyaredaisenlin, Fodingshan, Maolan, Shennongjia, Houhe, Taoyuandong, Shimenhupingshan, Badagongshan, Suoxiyu, Bamianshan, Mangshan, Foping, Wolong, Jinfoshan, Changshanerhai, Daweishan, Jinpingfenshuiling (Yunnan), Tongbiguan, Wawushan, Xiaoxi (CSIS 2008), and Jiuzhaigou (Liu et al. 2005). It likely occurs in many additional protected areas. A status survey of Kenting National Park (Taiwan) did not find the presence of this species, which once existed there (Pei 2004). In China, it has been regionally Red Listed as Least Concern (Wang and Xie 2004).

Citation: Smith, A.T. & Johnston, C.H. 2008. Petaurista alborufus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided