Animal of the Year - Siberian Flying Squirrel

Pteromys volans

The Siberian flying squirrel is a small – about two thirds the size of the red squirrel – large-eyed mammal adapted to a nocturnal way of life.
Its specialty lies in having flight membranes between its limbs and using them to glide between trees, even if these are 50 or 100 meters apart. The flying squirrel is also able to change direction during a glide by steering with its tail.

In Estonia, the flying squirrel can only be encountered in the old forests of Northeast Estonia, where it often occupies old nests of red squirrels or woodpeckers for breeding and daytime shelter.

The presence of flying squirrels is easily identified by their characteristic field signs – droppings slightly larger than rice grains. These are greenish yellow in early spring and brown or dark green at other time.