squirrels

Can someone help me ID these Squirrels. http://www.treedictionary.com/DICT2003/HTMLFILES/flying_squirrels.html Are they flying squirrels?
Specifically which ones?
Are they threatened and endangered species?
If not sure can someone point me in the right direction
Thank very very very much.
Sincerely, John A. Keslick, Jr. Consulting Arborist http://home.ccil.org/~treeman and www.treedictionary.com Beware of so-called tree experts who do not understand tree biology. Storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions keep reminding us that we are not the boss.
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yes.

can't tell from the photos. Northern & Southern Flying squirrels are very similar in apperance, & in some areas their ranges overlap. the Northerns are slightly larger.

that depends on where you are. in some areas they are considered threatened or endangered, & in others they are not. where are you, or rather the squirrels, located? either way, you may be interested in this: "Flying squirrels are important to forest regeneration and timber production because they disperse spores of ectomycorrhizal fungi like truffles. Truffles are fruiting bodies of a special type of fungus that matures underground. They are dependent upon animals to smell them out, dig them up, consume them, and disperse their spores in fecal material where the animal travels. The animal serves to inoculate disturbed sites (e.g., clearcuts, burned areas) with mycorrhizae that join symbiotically with plant roots and enhance their ability to absorb nutrients and maintain health. The flying squirrel's ecological role in forest ecosystems, therefore, gives it economic value."
lee <they make good pets too, if you get them young>
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I had a female flying squirrel for many years in my teens & early 'twenties. They live quite a long time so it seemed like a had her forever. She was a very sweet thing, ultra-soft, very gentle creature. She'd pee on people she didn't know very well if they picked her out of her nest, but she would never bite. I'd be up until three in the morning typing and she'd be active after midnight.
I'd put her on my shoulder or in the day in a blouse pocket and just forget about her; she never tried to leave, I was like her best beloved tree. Most wild animals require a lot of forgiveness if kept as pets & usually it's a very bad idea, they never ocmpletely domesticate, but by the evidence of the one I had as a pet, they're an exception. Apart from not wanting to be at all active in the daylight hours she was an absolutely perfect pet.
They prefer old growth riparian forests but do adapt to city life. A tree trimmer for the city of Seattle told me the Northern flying squirrels were by far the most commonly encountered critter while going about the city trimming limbs away from telephone wires. But hardly anyone ever sees them because they're very strongly nocturnal, not merely animals of the dusk like most so-called nocturnal animals, but of black night.
Once camping in the forest & sleeping on the ground, a flying squirrel missed its limb & came to the ground with a loud plop right beside my sleeping bag not more than ten inches from my face. It was panting like mad, staring at me with those big round eyes. I lay real still and it just kept staring at me, until I got the foolish thought that it might be as unafraid as my pet squirrel, but as soon as I moved the little critter was off like a shot.
I love 'em. Those photos in the rotting tree are way cool. I'm assuming you've photographed the Northern flying squirrel though the pictures you got of one spread out on bark looks scrawnier than the northerns, perhaps meaning it's an adolescent. Their tree of choice around here is the Douglas fir but they'll nest in almost any tree. Their favorite in coastal California tend to be redwoods, or in the Sierra Nevadas, red firs. They dislike cedars which exude toxins that kill baby squirrels. They prefer snags or dying trees to healthy ones but are also found in hollow joints of old deciduous trees.
They will eat bugs & seeds but oddly enough their greater preference is lichens & young puffballs, which will become the majority of their diet if there's plenty. Those woodpecker hole homes you photographed are classic; they like to nest in decaying logs not only because they couldn't otherwise carve out nest holes, but because rotting wood is frequently being broken down by truffle funguses which are like candy to flying squirrels. Their odd diet permits them to live in the same range as regular tree squirrels without conflict.
There are two endangered subspecies of the Northern squirrel, but the main species is so widespread through North America that they're usually just very common.
-paghat the ratgirl
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Thank you both for taking the time. They seemed intelligent.
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Sincerely,
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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Very sweet photos, thank you for posting them!
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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paghat wrote:
We live in the midwest, northern. My aunt had one as a pet, Jocko, for many years, didn't get as tame as yours, would eat out of her hand, and we all loved it. They trapped it in my neighbor's attic. She was a teacher and had a big round wire mesh cage built for it, probably took it to school for the students. Hers didn't have the dark markings, and they are smaller than other squirrels, except I've had a couple regular black ones that are quite small compared to the fox and grays.
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On Tue, 4 Dec 2007 18:51:44 -0500, "symplastless"

Could be northern flying squirrel and yes, they are endangered; at least in PA.
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