Seen Any Flying Squirrels Lately?

flying squirrelDorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” saw flying monkey’s that were really frightening. However, flying squirrels are a whole nother matter.

If you’ve seen any lately the U.S. Forest Service would like to hear from you.

The San Bernardino flying squirrel is a sub-species of the northern flying squirrel. It is only known from the San Bernardino and San Jacinto mountains although it has not been seen in the San Jacinto range for about 20 years.

Flying squirrels are closer in size to chipmunks than larger native gray squirrels. they are nocturnal and have large flaps of skin that connect their front and hind feet. These flaps of skin allow them to glide from tree to tree. They do not fly in the same way that birds do..no flapping of their wings is involved. Their flat tail is used as a rudder to steer as they glide.

U.S. Forest Service biologists have been studying flying squirrels on the Mountaintop District of the San Bernardino National Forest since the early 199s. Research is needed to have a better understanding of the current distribution, their habitat requirements and the status of their population. Much of what is known about their “distribution” is based on reports from residents who see flying squirrels at their      bird feeders at night or those who have found dead flying squirrels.

If you have seen any flying squirrels in the local mountains please report the sighting information to Robin Eliason at (909) 382-2832. Photographs of the flying squirrel(s) would be appreciated, if possible.

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