Namdapha Flying Squirrel


After 42 years of no confirmed sightings, in 2023, the Namdapha flying squirrel was finally rediscovered! This has brought renewed hope for conservation efforts.

Namdapha Flying Squirrel

A Rare and Elusive Species:

  • Endemic to India: This squirrel is only found in Arunachal Pradesh, northeastern India, specifically known from a single specimen collected in Namdapha National Park in 1981.
  • Critically Endangered: Due to its limited range and population, the IUCN lists it as critically endangered.

Unique Characteristics:

  • Arboreal and Nocturnal: Like most flying squirrels, it lives in trees and is active at night.
  • Gliding, not Flying: Despite the name, flying squirrels don’t fly like birds or bats. They have furry membranes stretching between their limbs, allowing them to glide long distances between trees.
  • Diet: Primarily herbivorous, feeding on fruits, seeds, and leaves.

Threats and Conservation:

  • Habitat Loss: Deforestation and human encroachment on its limited habitat pose a significant threat.
  • Poaching: Unfortunately, some communities hunt these squirrels for food.
  • Conservation Efforts: The rediscovery has given conservationists renewed hope. Initiatives like Re:wild’s “Search for Lost Species” aim to study and protect this unique species.