Pennsylvania's flying squirrels endangered
By Allison M. Heinrichs
Published: Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007
The northern flying squirrel, the largest and rarest of Pennsylvania's two flying squirrel species, will be added to the state's endangered species list, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
"Our field survey work has shown that the northern flying squirrel's population has been in decline for some time and is in need of our assistance," Game Commission biologist Greg Turner said in a news release. "They have very specific habitat preferences and their existence in Pennsylvania is threatened by a parasite carried by southern flying squirrels and by forest pests that destroy their preferred habitat."
Adding the squirrel to the state's endangered species list will allow the Game Commission to better manage their habitat and apply for federal funding.
The northern flying squirrel once lived across northern Pennsylvania in older-growth coniferous forests, which have become fragmented. It is now found in less than a half-dozen known sites in northeastern Pennsylvania, with the exception of one in Warren County and one in Potter County.
The squirrels are still common in the boreal forests of states along the Canadian border and Canada.
A parasite called Strongyloides robustus is carried by the southern flying squirrels and is lethal to the northerners, likely because it suppresses their ability to put on winter fat and even maintain their existing weight.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.