Petinomys fuscocapillus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Petinomys fuscocapillus
Species Authority: (Jerdon, 1847)
Common Name(s):
English Travancore Flying Squirrel
Petinomys fuscocapillus (Kelaart, 1850)
Sciuropetrus layardi Kelaart, 1850
Sciuropterus fuscocapillus Jerdon, 1847
Taxonomic Notes: Ellerman (1940, 1961) included two subspecies, namely Petinomys fuscocapillus fuscocapillus (Jerdon, 1847) and Petinomys fuscocapillus layardi (Kelaart, 1850). Phillips (1981) gave a detailed account of Petinomys fuscocapillus layardi (Kelaart, 1850). Corbet and Hill (1992) synonymized the latter taxon with the nominate race. The populations in Sri Lanka and India may represent separate species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Rajamani, N., Molur, S. & Nameer, P.O.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Near Threatened because its extent of occurrence is probably approximately 30,000 km², and the extent and quality of its habitat are probably declining, and it occurs as severely fragmented populations, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable under criterion B1.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to the Western Ghats of southern India and to the island of Sri Lanka at elevatons of 500 to 2,000 m asl (Molur et al. 2005). It has a wide distribution range in the two countries. In India, it is known from many fragmented locations in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, from Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Makutta in Coorg in Karnataka, while in Sri Lanka it has been recorded from many fragmented locations in Central, North Central, Sabaragamuwa, Southern and Uva provinces (Molur et al. 2005).
India; Sri Lanka
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is very rare compared to the more commonly sighted Petaurista phillippensis.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is an arboreal and nocturnal species. It occurs in evergreen, deciduous and montane forests. It occupies tree canopies and holes (Molur et al. 2005). Can survive in slightly modified habitat (semi deciduous), former evergreen areas. Forages in plantations adjacent to forests (N. Rajamani pers. comm.). Small, solitary, nocturnal species living 15-20 m in canopy. Generation time may be 3-3.5 years based on other similar species (other Petaurillus).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat loss due to expansion of agriculture, small wood plantations, small-scale logging, infrastructure development and human settlements are major threats (Molur et al. 2005). Harvesting for local consumption is a minor threat (N. Rajamani pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is included in the Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is known from the following protected areas in India and Sri Lanka - India: Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary in Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary, Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary, Periyar Tiger Reserve, Thathekad Bird Sanctuary in Kerala; Kalakkad-Mundunthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu; Sri Lanka: Adam’s Peak Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanneliya Forest Reserve, Knuckles Forest Reserve in Central Province and Sinharaja Forest Reserve and Sabaragamuwa Forest Reserve, Sabaragamuwa Province. Taxonomic studies, survey, ecological studies, population monitoring and habitat management are recommended for this species (Molur et al. 2005).

Citation: Rajamani, N., Molur, S. & Nameer, P.O. 2008. Petinomys fuscocapillus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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