The West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel is a small nocturnal mammal. It weighs 3-5 ounces and is about 10-12 inches fromthe tip of its nose to the end of its tail. Their fur is light brown to reddish brown in color with belly fur being gray at the base and white at the tips. It does not really fly but glides; patagia (skin folds that connect the front and rear legs) allow it to glide while using its tail as a rudder to control direction.
WVNFS mate at about 1 year of age and females give birth after a period of about 6 weeks. They will have 1-2 litters of 1-6 pups during the year. Pups are born blind and furless and are nursed by the female for about 2 months. Males do very little in relation to parenting.
WVNFS do not hiberate during the winter but instead continue to forage for food. Their diet consists mainly of truffle-like fungi but they are also known to consume lichen, nuts, seeds, buds and other plant matter.
The WVNFS habitat is best described as mixed mesophytic forest in the boreal regions of the WV highlands. The extremely fractured habitat region encompasses 7 counties in WV and 1 in VA, including Tucker County.
They often make their nests in tree cavities and woodpecker holes but have been known to nest in dense branches near the tops of evergreen trees.
The greatest threat to the West Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel comes from timbering and development, which would result in additional fragmentation of the already highly fragmented populations.
Ginny's Relisting Case has been appealed by the Feds to DC Circuit Court - Arguments were held January 15, 2012 and we are currently awaiting the decision.
Click here to see Judge Sullivan's decision
Please click here to read our press release about this exciting development.
Attenborough: Is it a Bird? Is it a plane? Is it a flying squirrel? - BBC Earth