Petaurista petaurista 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Petaurista petaurista (Pallas, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Red Giant Flying Squirrel, Common Giant Flying Squirrel
Sciurus petaurista Pallas, 1766
Taxonomic Notes:

Petaurista petaurista possibly represents a complex of several similar species. Further studies are needed to clarify the taxonomic status of populations currently allocated to this species. Until Corbet and Hill (1992) the forms here treated as Indian Giant Flying Squirrel P. philippensis were almost universally treated as conspecific with P. petaurista (e.g. Lekagul and McNeely 1977); where sympatric with P. petaurista sensu stricto (e.g. in Thailand) this sometimes resulted in the local forms of P. petaurista sensu stricto being considered part of P. alborufus (in, e.g., Lekagul and McNeely 1977). Great care is therefore needed in taking information from the non-Sundaic part of Petaurista range attributed to this species, as truly referring to it.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-25
Assessor(s): Duckworth, J.W.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Walston, J., Molur, S. & Uddin Sarker, S.

Assessed as Least Concern because it is a widespread species that is abundant in suitable habitat. While habitat conversion is occurring in unprotected parts of its, range the species occurs in numerous protected areas and is not experiencing significant decline within those protected areas; and it still occurs widely outside protected areas, e.g. in many logging concessions.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This widely distributed species has been recorded from northern South Asia, southern China and Southeast Asia. This species has a large distribution in South Asia, being recorded from eastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, eastern Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and northern and North-east India at elevations of 500 to 3,100 m asl (Molur et al. 2005). In China, it has been recorded from Yunnan, Sichuan, Fujian, Guangxi and Guangdong (Smith and Xie 2008). In Southeast Asia, it is found on the mainland from Myanmar in the west, into western Thailand, southern Lao PDR (Sanamxay et al. 2015), Cambodia (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2016), and south to Peninsular Malaysia. It is widely distributed in insular Southeast Asia on the island of Sumatra and Java (both to Indonesia) and Borneo (Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia). There are few known localities in Thailand, Lao PDR and Cambodia (Sanamxay et al. 2015), but whether this represent a genuinely highly patchy distribution or under-recording is not yet clear; by contrast, it is the common large Petaurisa of the Sundaic subregion (J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2016).

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; China; India (Assam, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Meghalaya, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal); Indonesia (Jawa, Kalimantan, Sumatera); Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak); Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:>2001
Upper elevation limit (metres):3100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is often a locally common to abundant species.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

It is an arboreal and nocturnal species. Across its large range, it uses a wide range of forest types: some of those occupied in one part of the range areeschewed in another, hindering an overall profile of its range-wide habitat use. It occurs in lowland to highland moist evergreen broadleaf forest, temperate forest in the northern part of it range, coniferous forests, scrub forest, rocky areas as inland cliffs, mountain peaks (Molur et al. 2005; Smith and Xie 2008). In Lao PDR and Cambodia, the few known records come from deciduous forest (Sanamxay et al. 2015, J.W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2016).

Generation Length (years):5-6

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It is hunted for food and clothing.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Habitat conversion due to logging, agriculture, dam construction, infrastructure development and urbanization is occurring throughout the range of the species. It has been harvested for the pet and fur trade in South Asia (Molur et al. 2005). However, none of these phenomena pose a threat to the species, only to populations at the localised level.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

This species is present in many protected areas (eg. Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh, India). This is considered to be a species complex for which taxonomic revision 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.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.8. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Swamp
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Corbet, G.B. and Hill, J.E. 1992. Mammals of the Indo-Malayan Region: a Systematic Review. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Duckworth, J.W., Salter, R.E. and Khounboline, K. 1999. Wildlife in Lao PDR: 1999 Status Report. IUCN, Vientiane, Laos.

Ellerman, J.R. 1961. Rodentia. The fauna of India including Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon. Mammalia, Manager of Publications, Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, USA.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

Lekagul, B. and McNeely, J.A. 1977. Mammals of Thailand. Association for the Conservation of Wildlife, Bangkok, Thailand.

Molur, S., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Walker, S., Nameer, P.O. and Ravikumar, L. 2005. Status of non-volant small mammals: Conservation Assessment and Management Plan (C.A.M.P) workshop report. Zoo Outreach Organisation / CBSG-South Asia., Comibatore, India.

Sanamxay, D., Douangboubpha, B., Bumrungsri, S., Satasook, C. and Bates, P.J. 2015. A summary of the taxonomy and distribution of the Red Giant Flying Squirrel, Petaurista petaurista (Sciuridae, Sciurinae, Pteromyini), in mainland Southeast Asia with the first record from Lao PDR. Mammalia 79: 305–314.

Citation: Duckworth, J.W. 2016. Petaurista petaurista (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16723A115138344. . Downloaded on 19 July 2018.
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