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Canada's Species   Mammals

Southern Flying Squirrel

Glaucomys volans

Photo:Mont St-Hilaire Nature Center
Southern Flying Squirrel. Photo:Mont St-Hilaire Nature Center

Although clumsy on the ground (it can sometimes be caught by hand), this squirrel is adept at gliding gracefully between trees. It does so by launching itself from a tree trunk, extending its legs to spread a membrane which stretches between them. As it approaches its target, the flying squirrel banks upward, landing lightly and scrambling upward a little before coming to a stop. More so than other squirrels, the southern flying squirrel is nocturnal. At night, it catches moths and junebugs, and collects hickory nuts, fruits and seeds, which it hoards in its hollow-tree home. This squirrel's primary predators are the nocturnal owls, but in suburban areas the household cat can prey upon the squirrel when it ventures onto the ground.

Map of Southern Flying Squirrel in Canada
Distribution of Southern Flying Squirrel in Canada

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