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Posts Tagged ‘southern flying squirrels’

Two types of flying squirrels are found in Nova Scotia:  Northern Flying Squirrels and Southern Flying Squirrels.  Both are noctural and are active year-round.  The Southern type is much smaller. Yesterday, Carl, one of my neighbors, brought over some information about Southern Flying Squirrels that he had acquired from the Biology Department at Acadia University.  A while back he had taken down a snag in his backyard that, unbeknownst to him, was full of flying squirrels.  He thought the squirrels had probably kept a low profile for fear of his dogs. 

Our subdivision has expanded considerably in the past 20 years.  Old and dead trees are not as common as they were prior to the development.  The area around the bog is still in its natural state, but the trees there are stunted in their growth and not large enough for nesting.  The flying squirrels in Carl’s yard probably weighed the risk of the dogs in their decision to settle in that old trunk. 

The information Carl had received from Acadia University mentioned that there have been oak trees wherever Southern Flying Squirrels have been found.  They likely depend on the acorns to survive the winter.  A recent article in the Washington Post reveals an absence of acorns this year from the Midwest up through New England extending to Nova Scotia.  See:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/29/AR2008112902045.html 

 southernsquirrel1

Northern Flying Squirrels are able to include lichens, fungi and seeds in their winter diet but the lack of acorns would certainly be bad news to Southern Flying Squirrels everywhere.

The image at left is from a poster entitled ‘Have you seen this squirrel?  The Southern Flying Squirrel is a species at risk.’  Acadia University would like to hear if anyone has sighted Southern Flying Squirrels in Nova Scotia.  The number provided is 1-866-RARE-4-NS

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