Petaurus biacensis (Ulmer, 1940)

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson, 2015, Petauridae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 5 Monotremes and Marsupials, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 52-565 : 562

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.6656820


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Petaurus biacensis



Biak Glider

Petaurus biacensis View in CoL

French: Possum de Biak / German: Biak-Gleithornchenbeutler / Spanish: Falangero planeador de Biak

Taxonomy. Petaurus (Petaurella) biacensis Ulmer, 1940 View in CoL ,

“Korrido, Biak Island,” West Papua (= Irian Jaya), New Guinea.

This taxon was generally regarded as a subspecies of the Sugar Glider (P. breviceps) until it was identified as a full species in 1990s; further taxonomic work is needed in order to determine its relationship to P. breviceps. Single 1940s specimen from Owi Island was initially described as P. kohisi. Monotypic.

Distribution. Schouten Is (Supiori, Biak, and Owi), in NW New Guinea. View Figure

Descriptive notes. Head-body 14-15 cm, tail 14-18 cm; weight 88-100 g. This species can be distinguished by its relatively small size and largely uniform tawny or chocolatebrown fur, which is unlike that of all other petaurid gliders.

Habitat. Lives in primary tropical forests on limestone substrate, and has been recorded from degraded and secondary forests, rural gardens, and plantations. It has been found commonly also around gardens and village surrounds in the Korido area of Supiori and in eastern Biak.

Food and Feeding. Little is known of the diet of this species. Several individuals have been captured while feeding on bananas.

Breeding. Females give birth to one or two young. The only record of pouch young is from September.

Activity patterns. This glideris largely arboreal, but occasionally descendsto the ground.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Little is known of this species. A group of six was located in a hollow of a mangrove tree ( Bruguiera , Rhizophoraceae ) near a village. Three of these animals were collected: an adult female with a pouch young, an adult male, and a subadult male.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. Although this species has a relatively small range (less than 3000 km?), it is common on both Biak and Supiori,it can tolerate some degree of habitat modification, and it occurs in a protected area. Its status on Owi Island, from where it is known though just a single specimen,is uncertain. There are no major threats facing this species, and it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify forlisting in a threatened category. It is occasionally taken by domestic/feral cats (Felis catus) and dogs, but this is not considered to be a major problem. Thisis the only gliding mammal to occur on the islands in the Schouten Group, off the north-west coast of Papua.

Bibliography. Flannery (1994a, 1995b), Leary, Wright, Hamilton, Singadan, Menzies, Bonaccorso, Salas et al. (2008b).














Petaurus biacensis

Russell A. Mittermeier & Don E. Wilson 2015

Petaurus (Petaurella) biacensis

Ulmer 1940
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