Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel

Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina

North Carolina Wildlife

The Northern Carolina flying squirrel, or Glaucomys Sabrinus Coloratus, lives in carnivorous and deciduous-carniferous forests of North Carolina, in the southern regions of the Appalachians. It was declared an endangered species by the federal government in 1985. Subsequent studies found the Carolina Northern Flying Squirrel in eight mountain ranges. It is found on very high mountains, having many of their species in these latitudes during glacial times.

Endangered Species

Fires and logging in the Black Mountains and forests in the Great Balsam area altered the habitat of the Glaucomys Sabrinus Coloratus. The balsam holly adelgid, an insect "pest", has killed many Fraser fir stands where the Northern Carolina Flying Squirrel lives. Pollution and global warming also effect the species, altering the temperatures in its habitat that effects not only the Northern Carolina Flying Squirrel, but the entire food web.


NCWRC biologists hang several flying squirrel boxes in the forests of the Appalachian mountains, as part of a monitoring project. Hundreds of boxes are checked each year. Squirrels are captured, measured, marking, and put into their habitats so the biologists can track them and their species. One can volunteer to help the NCWRC biologists check the boxes as well.

Northern Carolina Flying Squirrel Facts

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Length: 10 3/4 inches to 12 1/4 inches

Weight: 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 ounces

Breeding: litters of 2 to 4, gestation period of 37 to 42 days

Food: Fungi, Lichens, conifer, hardwood seeds, fruits, insects, tree buds, animal matter

Young: 1/4 ounces and 2 3/4 inches at birth