Importance of forest structure for gliding squirrels

Submitted by editor on 18 March 2016.

South Asia are home to some of the amazing gliding mammals. Among such are the group gliding squirrels. The name itself signifies what makes them unique. Yes. Gliding. They are so well adopted that they can glide upto 150m in a single shoot. Being nocturnal, these mammals remain lesser studied in comparison to the diurnal mammals. Red giant gliding squirrel is one such gliding squirrel which is a wide spread species in South and Southeast Asia. We took up a study to understand it’s gliding habit as a part of a long term ecological study in the forests bordering India with Burma i.e., in Namdapha National Park, Aruanchal Pradesh. These gliders surprised us when we made our visit way in 2011. Since then, we have been studying their behaviour. Our study mainly focused on its preferences of gliding which involved basic ecological components and canopy use. This data is generally useful for forest management purpose viz. during road constructions through forest areas, forest clearings for developmental activities etc. 



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