The Kashmir flying squirrel (Eoglaucomys fimbriatus) is broadly characterized as inhabiting landscapes ranging through eastern Afganistan, northern Pakistan, and northern India . Specifically it is endemic to the Kashmir and Punjab regions along the Himalayas where it resides in moist temperate forests. Eoglaucomys fimbriatus will move to lower elevation regions of its habitat during winter and are a common squirrel species in the Himalayan forests. (Roberts, 1977; Shafique, et al., 2009; Zahler, 1998)
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus generally resides in the Himalayas between 1800 and 3500 m in elevation and within moist temperate forests containing a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees. However, E. fimbriatus has also been described as occupying drier coniferous forests as well as man-made structures. There have been some presumed occurrences of E. fimbriatus occupying high elevation (3800-4000 M) caves in the Yasin Vally of northern Pakistan but evidence of this may be circumstantial.
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus mainly utilizes tree cavities for nesting in a variety of deciduous and coniferous tree species, but especially Himalayan elm (Ulmus wallichiana), Asian maple (Acer caesium), Himalayan yew (Taxus wallichiana), and deodar cedar (Cedrus deodara). Eoglaucomys fimbriatus will inhabit trees with a diameter breast height (DBH) ranging from 41-100 cm, in both alive and dead trees. Eoglaucomys fimbriatus may be outcompeted for habitat by the larger red giant flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista albivente) which limits the size and species of trees that E. fimbriatus occupies. (Koli, 2016; Roberts, 1977; Shafique, et al., 2009; Zahler, 1998)
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus is a flying squirrel and as such exhibits the defining characteristic of the tribe Pteromyini; long flaps of loose skin run from the hindquarters to the front limbs of this mammal. These skin flaps allow for limited gliding when jumping through the air and have been observed traveling as far as 50 ft.
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus is a relatively small squirrel ranging from 500–666 grams in mass, a short tail measuring from 253-300 mm, a head and body length of 235-297 mm, and a hind foot of 52-70 mm. The species has distinctively long vibrissae (whiskers) measuring 83mm and the tail is wider at the base than at the tip. The fur of E. fimbriatus varies from a creamy white or greyish color on its belly to a blackish fur on its dorsal region and tail. The overall appearance of the fur is short and grizzled, with flecks of brown, grey, or almost pinkish colors appearing. Eoglaucomys fimbriatus has very large eyes that suit it’s nocturnal lifestyle and reflect when light is shined on them. Females have six mammae but besides this there is no sexual dimorphism in the species. (Niethammer, 1990; Roberts, 1977)
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus may practice monogamy within a single mating season. In the middle summer months of July and early August the flying squirrels will form breeding pairs and nest together. However, it is unknown how long a mating pair will stay together or if the pairing persists over mating seasons. (Koli, 2016)
Newborn squirrels are born with their eyes shut and will not open them until they are about 3 quarters to full size. When born, the young of E. fimbriatus stay with their mother in a nest concealed within a tree and are not completely independent from their mother until they are somewhere inbetween 2 and 2 ½ months old. Eoglaucomys fimbriatus may be weaned from around 2-3 months of age and It takes approximately 6 months for a newborn to reach full size. There is very little information about the reproductive behavior of E. fimbriatus. It appears that the squirrel produces litters of 3-4 young in the summer months of the year and may produce 2 litters a year. It is unknown what the gestation period of the mother is, but in similar flying squirrel species it is around 25-40 days. (Roberts, 1977)
When the young are born in the late summer or early fall the mother and father will both care for the young. The male of the species is seen leaving the nest to find food in the early evening and the female is seen departing the nest shortly after the male returns. It seems that there is some degree of parental investment from the male of the species but it is unknown how long this investment lasts, or how long a mating pair stays together. (Koli, 2016)
There is no information on the lifespan of E. fimbriatus in the wild, in captivity it is difficult to keep and has been described as a delicate animal.
However there is evidence that E. fimbriatus may be closely related to the new world flying squirrel genus Glaucomys . Within this genus E. fimbriatus is most closely related to the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) which has a lifespan of less than 7 years in the wild. (Oshida, et al., 2004; Roberts, 1977; Smith, 2007)
The Kashmir flying squirrel is an arboreal and nocturnal creature that will spend the daytime hours asleep in some sort of shelter, usually that of a tree cavity. They will emerge from their nesting area shortly after sunset and return shortly after sunrise to feed on various nut and plant species. This mammal rarely leaves the arboreal tree tops as it can glide easily between them, but has been sighted inhabiting man-made structures such as rooftops and will not always actively avoid humans. Eoglaucomys fimbriatus has not been observed hibernating in the winter months but rather the species will move to a lower elevation habitat.
It is unknown how large E. fimbriatus’s home range is within a habitat, just that they mainly exist within the treetops of the forest and rarely visit the ground. In similar species of flying squirrel the home range varies between 0.9 to 2.7 hectares. The Kashmir flying squirrel, though, seems to be limited to specific areas as it has been seen leaving and returning to the same nest cavity each night.
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus appears to nest with a partner during mating periods, but it is not known if they communally nest outside this time period with other members of the species. There does seem to be a degree of competition between E. fimbriatus and P. philippensis albivente for territory and food sources. It is unknown how E. fimbriatus directly responds to this competition but it is likely that P. p. albivente excludes the smaller E. fimbriatus from it’s fundamental niche. (Koli, 2016; Roberts, 1977; Shafique, et al., 2009; Smith, 2007)
Unknown, similar species range from 0.9 to 2.7 hectares (Roberts, 1977)
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus has protruding, hairless ears with a concave outer portion that bends back at the tip. It is unknown what effect this particular ear design has on the squirrel's ability to perceive the environment, perhaps to pick up high frequencies of sound. However, the species’ extremely large eyes for it’s body size is likely directly related to its nocturnal lifestyle and allows it to see in low-light conditions.
It is unknown how E. fimbriatus communicates but in similar species of flying squirrels there has been evidence of ultrasonic vocalizations. Species such as the southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) may utilize high frequency sound to avoid predators, send alarm signals, and to find mates, it is possible that E. fimbratus may as well. (Murrant, et al., 2013; Roberts, 1977)
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus utilizes food sources seasonally and is seen browsing on floral buds in the spring, fruit in the summer, and plant shoots in the winter. These food sources are usually derived from a variety of deciduous and conifer trees within its habitat such as Himalayan elm (Ulmus wallichiana) and Himalayan poplar (Populus ciliata).
However the squirrel is most frequently seen foraging on seed and nut bearing tree species such as Indian horse chestnut (Aesculus indica), evergreen holly oak (Quercus ilex), silver fir (Abies pindrow), and blue pine (Pinus wallichiana). It is able to chew through the tough shell of food sources such as acorns and extract the nut within. (Roberts, 1977; Shafique, et al., 2006)
Likely predators of E. fimbriatus are the yellow throated marten (Martes flavigula) and Scully's Wood Owl (Strix aluco biddulphi). It is unclear exactly how this predation occurs or how E. fimbriatus avoids it but it is likely that E. fimbriatus affinity for treetops and aversion to the forest floor is an adaptation to avoid predation. (Roberts, 1977)
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus may serve as a seed disperser for various tree species but its overall impact on seedling recruitment is unknown. Agricultural practices in the area of E. fimbriatus may limit seed dispersal capabilities. Along with this E. fimbriatus exists as a prey species within its ecosystem. May contribute to the spread of diseases and parasites. (Duma, et al., 1981; Roberts, 1977)
It is unknown what positive economic influences E. fimbriatus may have on an area. If they are a successful seed distributor then it is possible that they may be beneficial to forest regeneration. They also may serve as a food source for local human populations as bushmeat, but at the cost of healthy squirrel populations. (Koli, 2016; Roberts, 1977)
There is no known negative economic value for humans in this species. However, it is possible that prolonged close proximity to humans could result in the spread of diseases such typhus among human popualtions. (Duma, et al., 1981)
As of 2016 E. fimbriatus is listed as a species of least concern on IUCN’s red list; however, it is noted that their habitat is very fragmented and declining in quality. Agriculture, logging, human expansion, and predation by humans have decreased this species habitat by 50% in the last 50 years. (Koli, 2016)
Eoglaucomys fimbriatus is also known as Eoglaucomys fimbriatus and has a subspecies known as the Afgan flying squirrel (Eoglaucomys fimbriatus baberi). May be more closely related to the new world genus of flying squirrels, Glaucomys, than it is to old world flying squirrel species such as Hylopetes; hence the unique genus classification Eoglaucomys.
Hunter Whitten (author), University of Washington, Laura Prugh (editor), University of Washington, Tanya Dewey (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
parental care is carried out by females
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
an animal that mainly eats fruit
an animal that mainly eats seeds
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
parental care is carried out by males
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
places a food item in a special place to be eaten later. Also called "hoarding"
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
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