Why Is The Northern Flying Squirrel Endangered?

Why Is The Northern Flying Squirrel Endangered?

The reason the northern flying squirrel is on the endangered species list is that it’s becoming more rare and difficult to find. Its range is from Alaska and Nova Scotia in the north to Tennessee and Utah in the south. In its native habitat, this animal is common, although its distribution is smaller than that of its Humboldt cousin. The latter is also rare but is found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and northern California.

Northern Flying Squirrel

The northern flying squirrel is a species of arboreal rodent that lives in the forests of western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia. This species prefers old-growth conifer forests with large dead trees, a well-developed understory, and logs. Its range is largely limited to high-elevation “sky-islands” that were logged in the late 19th century. The population’s size is estimated to be around 650 individuals.

Also Read: What Is the Largest Squirrel In The World?

The main threats to this small gliding mammal include the loss of habitat and a decline in reproduction. Currently, the Northern flying squirrel is a management indicator species on the Lassen National Forest and Plumas National Forest, but it is illegal to kill this species. The research conducted by Wilson, J.A., on this small but incredibly important mammal has identified that the area where the animals live is also a good habitat for them.

In the southern part of its range, the northern flying squirrel is a threatened species. It has not been seen in this region in a long time. While it is a native species in the southeast, the southern subspecies now dominate their range and have displaced the northern one. Hence, the question of why is the northern flying squirrel endangered? We shall answer this question in a moment.

The species’ population is highly threatened. This is due to a decline in its habitat. Its native habitat is mainly coniferous. In the southern region, it has mixed hardwoods. A healthy northern flying squirrel needs a forest with a high proportion of hemlock/spruce trees. Its native range has been reduced to just two hundred acres due to logging in the last century. Despite its vulnerability, the population has grown by nearly 50%. Its survival depends on conservation efforts.

The southern flying squirrel is one of the most widely distributed species in the world, but it is threatened in the mountains of North Carolina and West Virginia. The species is also threatened in eastern Tennessee and western Virginia. The habitat of these animals has been decimated by industrial logging. The population of these two types of northern flying squirrels in the mountains of the Appalachia region has dwindled to just a few hundred.

The northern flying squirrel is restricted to the mountains of western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and southwestern Virginia. It is restricted to high elevations and mixed hardwoods. It is threatened by fire and logging, and many areas where it used to live are now barren wasteland. Besides being a threatened species, the southern flying squirrel is a priority species in Pennsylvania’s Wildlife Action Plan.

The northern flying squirrel is an endangered species because it has become so popular. While it is still not extinct, it is threatened by a number of factors. Its habitat is largely suited to the species’ needs, and it is not in direct conflict with humans. A lack of suitable habitat and its lack of diversity has led to a lack of genetic diversity. Its home range has decreased due to logging and fire.

Final Thoughts

While there are no known benefits to humans from the northern flying squirrel, it is an integral part of the ecosystem. These animals not only disperse seeds but are also important in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. And their numbers are declining because of the decline of other species in their range. If you’re interested in the population of this species, it may be worth considering pursuing these efforts. You can learn more about its habitat in this article.

 

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