Animal native to Pakistan only! (Page-2)

3. The Woolly Flying Squirrel (Eupetaurus cinereus)


This is the most interesting animal, I wrote about so far.  The Woolly Flying Squirrel 

(Eupetaurus cinereus) is the sole species placed in the genus Eupetaurus. Until recently scientific knowledge of this rare species was limited to 11 skins collected in the late nineteenth century. However, some new skins have been found and its existence is confirmed in Pakistani Kashmir.  It is the longest member of the family Sciuridae and the most massive gliding animal known, but observations confirm that despite its size, it does glide effectively like other flying squirrel.

  • Habitat:-

Kashmir under Pakistani control and from northern Sikkim, India (Nowak 1999). The range possibly extends to China (Agrawal and Chakraborty 1969, Roberts 1977). Corbet and Hill (1992) report that two skins have been collected from Yunnan, however, the species is not reported from China by Smith and Xie (2008). The presence of the species in Sikkim, India as reported by Agarwal and Chakraborty (1970) is based on a single skin. However, due to the lack of osteological and other distinguishing characteristics of the species, and the lack of subsequent records from Sikkim, the distribution of the species in Sikkim is doubtful. Eupetaurus cinereus is currently known only from a very small region in northern Pakistan, in Diamer and southern Gilgit districts and (Zahler and Woods 1997) and there is currently no evidence that the species exists in India or other nearby countries.

  • Population:-

Until 1994 there had been no confirmed sightings of this species since 1924 (Zahler 1996). Pakistan the vast majority of recent sightings have been in Diamer and southern Gilgit Districts (Zahler and Woods 1997). Estimates in 1996 based on potential available habitat and local knowledge suggest a population in the core region of Diamer of between 1,000 and 3,000 (Zahler and Woods 1997). There is no current information available on the population abundance of this species elsewhere in South Asia (Molur et al. 2005).

  • Body description:-

The Woolly Flying Squirrel is very large for a flying squirrel (head and body = 45–60   centimeters (18–24 in)). The cheek teeth are unique as they are both flat-crowned and high crowned (hypsodont), setting Eupetaurus apart from other squirrels and suggesting that it feeds on very abrasive plant material, including pine needles (Zahler and Khan, 2003). The animal has fur that is long and thick, with a grizzled pattern that gives the appearance of a woolly pelage, thus the name.

A rare picture of Woolly Flying Squirrel

A rare picture of Woolly Flying Squirrel

  • Diet:-

The high crowned molars of E. cinereus indicate a diet of extremely rough vegetation. It appears that much of the diet consists of buds and cones, particularly those of the native spruce, Picea morinda. At high elevations, Picea morinda begins producing buds in April and cones in late summer. The cones are shed in winter when the ground is covered by snow, meaning that, by early spring, food for E. cinereus may be in extremely short supply. During these hard times, E. cinereus probably turns to mosses and lichens as a main food source (Roberts, 1977).

Page 2 of 2


  1. Aslam Yar Khatak
    December 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Isn’t there any complete picture of this animal?

  2. Irfan Ul Haq
    December 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm


  3. April 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    i is so aswsome to know about these anaimals

  4. December 16, 2012 at 11:48 am


  5. Damien
    June 6, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Well done putting this site together. It’s fascinating!

  6. June 8, 2013 at 4:34 pm


  1. December 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm

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