Note on the Giant Woolly Gliding Squirrel Eupetaurus cinereus (Mammalia: Rodentia: Sciuridae) in northern Pakistan

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Jaffar Ud Din
Mayoor Khan
Mehmood Ghaznavi
Khurshid Ali Shah
Muhammad Younus


The Woolly Gliding Squirrel Eupetaurus cinereus is an extremely rare, localized, and endangered mammal and may constitute one of the endemic species of Pakistan. The species was rediscovered in northern Pakistan in the mid-1990s after a 70-year absence of records. All the previous information regarding this giant squirrel was limited to museum specimens, collected mostly from areas presently in northern Pakistan in the late 1800s. Sighting of the species is extremely challenging owing to its nocturnal behavior, low densities and the inhospitable terrain it is reported from. Here we report detailed information about the species collected during the rescue of a young male individual from Gilgit City followed by its successful release in its natural habitat. We report that the species is still facing human-induced threats and may disappear from the mountains of northern Pakistan if informed management measures are not taken. Moreover, the occurrence of the species outside its core distribution range, i.e., districts Gilgit and Diamer, still remains questionable; therefore, it is recommended that further in-depth research studies be undertaken to determine the status of the species across the entire reported range. 

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