Knowledge on home range and activity patterns, along with their responses to environmental fluctuations, is important for the understanding of wildlife ecology and conservation, but related studies on giant flying squirrel species (genus Petaurista) are still limited. We radio-tracked five Indian giant flying squirrels (Petaurista philippensis) in subtropical Taiwan to assess their home range and activity patterns, as well as their behavioral strategy to cope with fluctuations in food quality. Specifically, we assessed the travelling and resting times of P. philippensis in relation to its energy requirements during periods of low food quality in winter. The influence of temperature and rainfall was also investigated. A total of five individuals were radio-tracked for 1-6 months. The home ranges of four individuals averaged 2.8 ± 2.0 ha (± SD), based on the 95 % kernel method. Mean home ranges of two adult males (4.4 ± 1.3 ha) were larger than a female (1.8) and sub-adult male (0.8). P. philippensis was found to be more active around dusk and dawn and less active at midnight. Daily ranging distance and activities were negatively associated with proportion of mature leaves in diet of the only female that we tracked. Rainfall had negative effects on activities of the males, while temperature had no significant influence. The current study suggested an energy conservative strategy of P. philippensis. Home ranges of P. philippensis are smaller than those of smaller flying squirrel species (genus Glaucomys and Pteromys spp.), which may be related to the differences in food habits and gliding efficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology