Sunda flying lemur southern thailand
Sunda flying lemur
Binomial name: Galeopterus variegatus, Jean-Baptiste Audebert, 1799
The Sunda flying lemur is found throughout Southeast Asia in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.
The Sunda flying lemur is not a lemur and does not fly. Instead, it glides as it leaps among trees. It is strictly arboreal, is active at night, and feeds on soft plant parts such as young leaves, shoots, flowers, and fruits. After a 60-day gestation period, a single offspring is carried on the mother’s abdomen held by a large skin membrane. It is a forest-dependent species.
The head-body length of Sunda flying lemur is about 34 to 38 cm. Its tail length is around 24 to 25 cm, and its weight is 0.9 to 1.3 kg.
The Sunda flying lemur is protected by national legislation. In addition to deforestation and loss of habitat, local subsistence hunting poses a serious threat to this animal. Competition with the plantain squirrel (Callosciurus notatus) represents another challenge for this species. More information is needed on population declines, but at present, the rate of the decline is not believed to merit listing in any category lower than Least Concern.
The Sunda flying lemur is a skillful climber, but is helpless when on the ground. Its gliding membrane connects from the neck, extending along the limbs to the tips of the fingers, toes and nails. This kite-shaped skin is known as a patagium, which is expanded for gliding. It can glide over a distance of 100 m with a loss of less than 10 m in elevation. It can maneuver and navigate while gliding, but strong rain and wind can affect its ability to glide. Gliding usually occurs in open areas or high in the canopy, especially in dense tropical rainforest. The Sunda flying lemur needs a certain distance to glide and to land to avoid injury. The highest landing forces are experienced after short glides; longer glides lead to softer landings, due to the colugo’s ability to brake its glide aerodynamically. The ability to glide increases a colugo’s access to scattered food resources in the rainforest, without increasing exposure to terrestrial or arboreal predators.