Petaurista philippensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Petaurista philippensis (Elliot, 1839)
Common Name(s):
English Indian Giant Flying Squirrel, Large Brown Flying Squirrel
Taxonomic Notes:

Until Corbet and Hill (1992) the forms here treated as P. philippensis were almost universally treated as conspecific with P. petaurista (e.g. Lekagul and McNeely 1977), meaning that much information concerning P.  philippensis has been published under the name P. petaurista. Great care is, however, needed in determining what information refers to which species because the two (as here constituted) are widely sympatric. Even Petaurista philippensis possibly represents a complex of several similar species. Further studies are needed to clarify the taxonomic status of populations currently allocated to this species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-09-01
Assessor(s): Walston, J., Duckworth, J.W. & Molur, S.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This widely distributed Asian species is found in South Asia, southern and central China, and mainland Southeast Asia. In South Asia, it is seemingly patchily distributed in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka (e.g. Choudhury 2013). In China, it has been recorded from Hainan Island, Yunnan, Sichuan and Shaanxi (Smith and Xie 2008). It is present on the island of Taiwan. In Southeast Asia, it is distributed over much of the mainland, being only absent from the Malay Peninsula (as it is from the entire Sundaic subregion). In South Asia it has been recorded from 500 to 2,000 m asl; in Southeast Asia it is known from the plains up to 1,000 m asl (Duckworth 1998).

Countries occurrence:
Bangladesh; Cambodia; China; India; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Viet Nam
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:>2000
Lower elevation limit (metres):2000
Upper elevation limit (metres):500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


It is locally abundant in Southeast Asia where suitable habitat protection is in place (Duckworth et al. 1994; Duckworth 1998; Evans et al. 2000). It could be in local decline in a few areas in India where it is under heavy hunting pressure (Nandini R. pers. comm. 2006).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This is an arboreal and nocturnal species. In South Asia it occurs in dry deciduous forests and evergreen forests. In addition to natural forest, it has been recorded from plantations. It is found to occupy tree canopies and holes (Molur et al. 2005). On Hainan Island it has been found only in large patches of forest, where it was considered abundant (Smith and Xie 2008). On Taiwan it is most abundant in hardwood compared with coniferous forest (Smith and Xie 2008). In South-east Asia it is widespread in lowland and hill evergreen broad-leaveed forest, up to about 1000 m, and probably also inhabits deciduous dipterocarp forest (e.g. Duckworth 1998).

Generation Length (years):5

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is hunted for food and medicine purposes.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no major threats to this species overall. In Southeast Asia, the species seems to be very resilient to hunting, habitat degradation and fragmentation, but it cannot tolerate deforestation excpt for when the forest is replaced by tree plantations. Thus, it is likely to be in overall reflecting the rate and distribution of deforestation. In South Asia, habitat loss and degradation resulting from logging, shifting cultivation, expansion of human settlements and forest fires have been proposed as threats to this species (Molur et al. 2005) but this is likely to be so at only the most local of scales. It is hunted for local consumption and medicinal purposes almost throughout it range.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Currently, there are no species-level conservation need other than taxonomic clarification. It occurs in numerous protected areas in Southeast Asia. In India it is present in Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh; Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary in Bihar; Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka; Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Parambikulam WS, Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thathekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala; Bori Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh; Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary, Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan; Kalakkad-Mundunthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu. In Sri Lanka it is known from Horton Plains National Park, Knuckles Forest Reserve in Central Province and Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sabaragamuwa (Molur et al. 2005). The species is included in the Schedule II (Part II) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. A taxonomic review of populations currently allocated to this species is needed. Once this has occurred, surveys to define the range of the constituent units, and monitoring of any of those which might be at risk, will be needed.

Citation: Walston, J., Duckworth, J.W. & Molur, S. 2016. Petaurista philippensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16724A22272037. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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