Particolored Flying Squirrel Hylopetes alboniger
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.
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.
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.
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.
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