Particolored Flying Squirrel Hylopetes alboniger

 

 

Description.

HB: 195-210; T:181-200; HF: 33-45; E: 30-34.

The back and head range in colour from grey to drab brown, depending on whether the hairs are tipped with whitish or brown. The tail is flattened underneath, but only slightly flattened underneath. The tail is dark grey to drab brown, or a mixture with the brownish colour at the base and along the sides. The underparts are creamy white, and there is a whitish mark behind the ear.

Closely resembling H. phayrei, but larger. The bulla is less than 20% o f the skull length. Much smaller than most other flying squirrels. They are arboreal and nocturnal and nest in hollow trees at altitudes of 1500-3400 m. The nest consists of a ball leaves and ferns and lined with fine grass. At night the squirrels presence can be detected  by a high pitched trill or a repeated scream vocalization. The diet consists of fruits, nuts, leaves and buds.

Range Description:

This species is present in North-eastern South Asia, southern and Central China, and mainland Southeast Asia. In South Asia, it has been recorded from mountainous regions of Nepal, Bhutan (distribution in this country is unclear) and North-eastern India up to 4,000 m asl (Molur et al. 2005). In China it has been recorded from Hainan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi and Zhejiang (Smith and Xie 2008). In Southeast Asia, it has been recorded from Myanmar, Northern Thailand, Lao PDR (only three localities known), Vietnam and marginally in Cambodia.
Countries: Native:
Bangladesh; Bhutan; Cambodia; China; India; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand; Vietnam Listed as Least Concern because, although it is seldom recorded, it has a relatively wide distribution, has a presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Habitat and Ecology:

 This is an arboreal and nocturnal species, found in tropical and subtropical montane forests, and in more temperate oak and rhododendron forests at middle to high elevations (1,500 to 3,400 m asl). Populations can be found in primary forests as well as secondary, degraded forests and scrubby habitat. The breeding season runs from April thru to mid June where 2 or 3 young are born in each litter.


Major Threat(s):

In South Asia, the species is threatened by habitat loss due to shifting (Jhum) agriculture, small wood plantations, mining activities, infrastructure development, establishment of human settlements, construction of dams and forest fires (Molur et al. 2005). In certain parts of north-eastern India this species is hunted for food (S. Molur pers. comm.). The threats to the species in Southeast Asia and China are unclear.

Conservation Actions:

The species is included in the Schedule II (Part II) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and is known from Namdapha National Park, in Arunachal Pradesh, India (Molur et al. 2005). Survey, taxonomic research and monitoring are recommended (Molur et al. 2005). Additional studies are needed into the taxonomy, distribution, abundance, general ecology and threats to this species in Southeast Asia

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