Southern Flying Squirrel

Scientific Name: 
Glaucomys volans (GLAH-kom-eez VOH-lanz)
Bat Habitat Range
Range: 
Eastern N. Am. from southern Ontario to the Gulf Coast, with isolated populations in Mexico and Central America.
Habitat: 
Prefers undisturbed hardwood forests.
Size: 
Adults are 21-25 cm & weigh 56-112 g (2-4 oz)
Lifespan: 
In the wild flying squirrels do not usually live beyond 5 years, in captivity they have been known to live up to 10 years.
Diet: 
Southern flying squirrels are omnivores, eating nuts, seeds, fruit, berries, bark, fungus, insects, bird eggs, young mice, and carrion.
Reproduction: 
Females have two litters a year; litter size is usually 2–3. Young are born blind and hairless after a 40-day gestation period. By 3–4 weeks the young are covered in fur and their eyes and ears are open, they are weaned at 6–8 weeks when they are capable of gliding and foraging with mother. They become independent at about 4 months.
Behavior: 
Flying squirrels don’t really “fly”, of course, they use a flap of loose skin that extends from wrist to ankle called a patagium (pah-TAGE-ee-um) to glide. The average glide is about 6-9 m (20-30 ft), but glides of 30.5 m (100 ft) have been recorded.
Conservation Status: 
Southern flying squirrels are doing well in areas where their habitat is abundant. However, flying squirrels need mature forest stands with hardwoods with complete canopies and are rarely found in younger forests. They are vulnerable to loss of habitat and fragmentation of habitat due to logging and urban sprawl.

Printable Information: 
© 2012 Organization for Bat Conservation
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