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Glaucomys volans

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA SCIURIDAE

Scientific Name: Glaucomys volans
Species Authority: (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: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because it is very widespread, and can be abundant in suitable habitat, and there are no major threats.

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:
Native:
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)
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).
Population Trend: Stable

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.
Systems: Terrestrial

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.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Glaucomys volans. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 July 2014.
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