During an excursion in the tropical rainforest of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG), young researchers found two hairy-footed flying squirrels on February 25. It’s the second time that the flying squirrels were found in the ravine forest of XTBG since July 2015.
The hairy-footed flying squirrel (Belomys pearsonii) is a flying squirrel found in the mountains of the eastern Himalaya, Southeast Asia, and southern China till the island of Taiwan. This species occurs at elevations of 800 to 2,400 m above sea level.
The finding of Belomys pearsonii in XTBG indicates that it also appears at elevation below 600 m above sea level.
It is a mostly nocturnal and arboreal species. It occurs in temperate and subtropical dry deciduous forests. It has been found to occupy tree hollows of dense broadleaved forest patches and also in rock crevices (Molur et al.2005). It appears to be limited to primary forest habitat. The generation time is thought to be relatively long, and might be five or six years, with a litter size of one or two young. This species feeds on leaves and fruits and populations in the north and in higher altitudes are known to feed on oak leaves and needles of cedar and pine (Jackson 2012).