Can someone help me ID these Squirrels.
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.
John A. Keslick, Jr.
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.
can't tell from the photos. Northern & Southern Flying
squirrels are very similar in apperance, & in some areas their
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
lee <they make good pets too, if you get them young>
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
-paghat the ratgirl
visit my temperate gardening website:
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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