Glaucomys volans 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Sciuridae

Scientific Name: Glaucomys volans (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Mexican Flying Squirrel, Southern Flying Squirrel

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-08
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Linzey, A. & Hammerson, G.A.
Listed as Least Concern because it is very widespread, and can be abundant in suitable habitat, and there are no major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in Texas, Kansas, and Minnesota in the United States, east to Quebec and Nova Scotia in Canada (uncommon to rare in these provinces) and eastern United States; there are montane populations scattered from northwestern Mexico to Honduras (Hoffmann et al., in Wilson and Reeder 1993).
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Ontario, Québec); Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common throughout most of range (NatureServe). Population density was estimated at 31-38/ha in southeastern Virginia (Sawyer and Rose 1985), 10-14/ha in Maryland, 1.5-2.5/ha in Michigan-Massachusetts (Layne and Raymond 1994).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It prefers deciduous and mixed forests, particularly beech-maple, oak-hickory and poplar. Also occurs in old orchards. In New Hampshire, preferentially used areas with large shagbark hickories and beeches; males tended to use areas with large oaks, females tended to use areas with abundant snags (Fridell and Litvaitis 1991). Favours small, abandoned woodpecker holes for den sites; also uses nest boxes and abandoned bird and squirrel nests outside tree cavities.

Births peak April-May and late summer in the north, late February-March and September-October in the south. Litter size usually is about 2-3 in the south, 3-4 in the north. Young first breed in spring after birth in the north, may breed late in first summer in the south. Two distinct breeding periods in New Hampshire, February-March and June-July. Females produce two litters per year.

This species is highly sociable, particularly in winter, when communal nesting peaks; communal nesting aggregations occur in both northern and southern populations (Layne and Raymond 1994). May be ousted from cavities by some large cavity-nesting birds; may kill or oust some small cavity-nesting birds. Home ranges of G. volans varied from 5-13 hectares, mean 7.4 hectares (Weigl and Osgood 1974).

Diet includes plant and animal foods. Feeds on insects in spring; nuts, seeds, and fruits through the rest of the year. May eat birds (especially eggs and young) and carrion. Caches food for winter. In South Carolina, acorns were most important throughout year; pine seeds, other plant material, and a few insects also consumed (Harlow and Doyle 1990). Active at night throughout the year, except during extreme winter cold. Will enter a state of torpor in cold periods.
Generation Length (years):5

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species overall. Localised threats include loss of habitat and loss of cavity-bearing and mast-producing trees. In Arkansas, a seed-tree harvest regime, particularly without retained overstorey hardwoods, produced a level of disturbance and resource depletion that was too severe for flying squirrel persistence (Taulman et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Its range includes several protected areas.

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

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

Bibliography [top]

Dolan, P. G. and Carter, D. C. 1977. Glaucomys volans. Mammalian Species 78: 1-6.

Fridell, R. A. and Litvaitis, J. A. 1991. Influence of resource distribution and abundance on home-range characteristics of southern flying squirrels. Canadian Journal of Zoology 69: 2589-2593.

Harlow, R. F. and Doyle, A. T. 1990. Food habits of southern flying squirrels (Glaucomys volans) collected from red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) colonies in South Carolina. American Midland Naturalist 124: 187-191.

Hoffmann, R.S., Anderson, C.G., Thorington, R.W., Jr. and Heaney, L.R. 1993. Family Sciuridae. In: D. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, pp. 419-465. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 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).

Layne, J. N. and Raymond, M. A. V. 1994. Communal nesting of southern flying squirrels in Florida. Journal of Mammalogy 75: 110-120.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Sawyer, S. L. and Rose, R. K. 1985. Homing and ecology ofthe southern flying squirrel Glaucomys volans in southeastern Virginia. American Midlands Naturalist 113: 238-244.

Taulman, J. F., Smith, K. G. and Thill, R. E. 1998. Demographic and behavioral responses of southern flying squirrels to experimental logging in Arkansas. Ecological Applications 8: 1144-1155.

Weigl, P. D. and Osgood, D. W. 1974. Study of the northern flying squirrel, Glaucomys sabrinus, by temperature telemetry. American Midland Naturalist 92: 482-486.

Wilson, D.E. and Reeder, D.M. 1993. Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Wilson, D.E. and Ruff, S. 1999. The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Glaucomys volans (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T9240A115091392. . Downloaded on 24 May 2018.
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