At left is a Northern Flying Squirrel stamp, issued by Canada Post as a low value definitive. Flying Squirrels are found in Nova Scotia but are seldom seen due to their nocturnal activity. I’ve only seen one once in my backyard. Though I caught sight of it at night (I was looking in the forest for my cat with a flashlight) it was unmistakable for its big eyes and quick movements. Was it ever cute!
Northern Flying Squirrels ideally make their homes in old growth forests where they make nests in snags (typically, dead trees with a diameter of more than 10″) or dreys (a large nest of twigs). They don’t actually fly. They glide with the use of a membrane located between their wrists and ankles. They mostly eat the fungi commonly found in old growth forests. In Western Canada they are known to play a vital role in the ecosystem by spreading the spores of fungi that they dig up underground. See http://www.gov.ns.ca/natr/wildlife/conserva/17-04-1.htm
The above stamp was issued two decades ago in 1988. Maybe it’s about time Canada issued another squirrel stamp. Considering how many stamps are issued by Canada Post, I can’t help but wonder why one has yet to be made of the Red Squirrel. They are one of our most common wild mammals and their arboreal antics are enjoyed by young and old. Stamps of Red Squirrels have been issued by several countries around the world. Combined, they all probably have a Red Squirrel population that is smaller than Canada’s. Could Canada Post be waiting until our Red Squirrels become endangered before they issue a stamp? I hope not.
The Red Squirrel stamps shown below are from Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the USA.