Scientific name Petaurista nobilis
Higher classification Petaurista
|Similar Hodgson's giant flying squirrel, Chinese giant flying squirrel, Petaurista, Hose's pygmy flying squ, Thomas's flying squirrel|
The Bhutan giant flying squirrel (Petaurista nobilis) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae. It is one of the largest among the flying squirrels.
It has a narrow range restricted to central Nepal, Sikkim and western Arunachal Pradesh in India, and Bhutan. It could occur in neighbouring forests in southern Tibet and northern Bangladesh, although it has not yet been reported from these areas.
The squirrel has bright chestnut-brown upper parts with orange tips to some of the hairs and pale rufous underparts. It is pale fulvous on the top of the head, shoulders, and in a narrow streak in the middle of the upper parts.
It was previously considered as a sub-species of Hodgson's giant flying squirrel but later elevated to a full species based on its distinctness. Two sub-species are recognised: P n. nobilis and P n. singhei.
Ecology and habitat
Its natural habitat is temperate broadleaf forests typically recorded between 1500 m to 3000 m elevation, but could also occur in contiguous coniferous forests. Reports from Arunachal Pradesh 100 km east of its previous eastern limits to the range of this species indicate possible larger range in North-east India. It appears to breed between March and April.