HIGH DAY TEMPERATURE AND SLEEP OUT BEHAVIOUR OF ELLIOT’S GIANT FLYING SQUIRREL PETAURISTA PHILIPPENSIS (ELLIOT) IN SITAMATA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, RAJASTHAN, INDIA
- SourceAvailable from: Vijay Kumar KoliJournal of the Bombay Natural History Society. 12/2012; 109(3):131-132.
245J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 107 (3), Sep-Dec 2010
4. HIGH DAY TEMPERATURE AND SLEEP OUT BEHAVIOUR
OF ELLIOT’S GIANT FLYING SQUIRREL PETAURISTA PHILIPPENSIS (ELLIOT)
IN SITAMATA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, RAJASTHAN, INDIA
CHHAYA BHATNAGAR1,3, SATISH KUMAR SHARMA2 AND VIJAY KUMAR KOLI1,4
1Department of Zoology, College of Science, M.L. Sukhadia University, Udaipur 313 001, Rajasthan, India.
2Forest Research Farm (Banki) Sisarma, Udaipur 313 001, Rajasthan, India. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Table 1: Maximum temperature of a few stations
near Arampura on May 22 and 23, 2010
DateLocalityMax. temp. recorded (ºC)
The Elliot’s Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista
philippensis is confined to Mahuwa Madhuca indica belt of
southern Rajasthan (Tehsin 1980; Chundawat et al. 2002;
Menon 2003; Sharma 2007). This species is commonly seen
in two wildlife sanctuaries of southern Rajasthan, namely,
Sitamata and Phulwari-ki-nal.
It is a nocturnal animal, which usually roosts in hollows
of trees or sheltered places among the branches. It comes out
from its hiding sites at dusk and retires before dawn (Prater
Arampura, a forest outpost of Sitamata Sanctuary is
famous for its Mahuwa groves and Elliot’s Giant Flying Squirrel
Petaurista philippensis. On May 22, 2010, the maximum
temperature of Dhariwad, a station 20 km away from Arampura,
was 47.7 ºC. The temperature of a few surrounding stations on
May 22, and 23, 2010, is given in Table 1.
Nearly a 50 m away from the outpost building, we
observed a P. philippensis repeatedly peek from a hole in a
Mahuwa tree. Despite the presence of many humans, it
emerged from its hiding site at about 15:40 hrs. Within no
time it skulked in the foliage slightly away from its hole. It
remained hidden in the foliage for five minutes after which it
slept on its back on a thick bough keeping its belly upward.
Dense shade was available at this sleeping site, though a few
thin light beams were penetrating down through the foliage.
The squirrel remained in this posture for c. 15 minutes and
then retired to its hole.
According to Prater (2005), during hot weather, flying
squirrel may sleep on its back with legs and parachute
outspread. The animal cools itself in this manner in the tropical
In the present case, though a nocturnal animal, flying
squirrel emerges even during day time for sleeping outside
the hole. The animal was probably uncomfortable inside the
hole due to the high temperature and hence ventured out to
get relief from the heat.
During April to June 2010, the temperatures ranged
from 40-48 ºC in southern Rajasthan. The internal
temperatures of the hollows probably became unbearable for
the flying squirrel due to high temperature conditions. To rid
itself of the unpleasant temperature of the hollows, the
squirrels dared to come out for sleep. This “sleep out”
behaviour was seen four times in the Sitamata Sanctuary. The
“sleep out behaviour” in all cases was observed during
afternoon session between 14:00 hrs and 16:30 hrs. This
behaviour was also noticed in Phulwari-ki-Nal Sanctuary from
April to June (Hankla Gameti pers. comm. 2010).
Since Mahuwa growth is thick in Sitamata and
Phulwari sanctuaries, and squirrels remain undetected due
to dense foliage, it is likely that the animals feel safe under
the dense cover of foliage. No natural predator was seen, so
far, in the study area. It is the safety factor and high heat
inside the holes which induced the “sleep out” behaviour in
We are grateful to the officials of the Sitamata Sanctuary
for providing facilities during the study.
CHUNDAWAT, P.S., S.K. SHARMA & H.S. SOLANKI (2002): Occurrence
of the Large Brown Flying Squirrel (P. petaurista philippensis)
in Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary. Zoos’ Print Journal 17(11):
246J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 107 (3), Sep-Dec 2010
5. FIRST RECORD OF ALBINO SAMBAR RUSA UNICOLOR (KERR)
FROM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK, INDIA
ANANT PANDE1,2, DEBMALYA ROYCHOWDHURY1, DEVLIN LEISHANGTHEM1, SUDEEP BANERJEE1, PUSHKAL BAGCHIE1,
NEHA AWASTHI1, RUBI KUMARI SHARMA1, PRIYANKA RUNWAL1 AND SHIKHA BISHT1
1Wildlife Institute of India, P.O. Box No. 18, Chandrabani, Dehradun 248 001, Uttarakhand, India.
A rare sighting of an albino Sambar Rusa unicolor (Kerr
1792) was made on June 19, 2010, in the core area of the
Corbett Tiger Reserve. The forest department informed us
about the occurrence of a white-coloured Sambar in the
Jamunagawd beat of Jhirna range. As a part of the tiger
monitoring team, we visited the area to get photographic
At 29° 30' 0.8" N and 78° 55' 30.3" E, we observed a
white Sambar fawn (Fig. 1) accompanied by its normal
coloured mother. The fawn was pure white with reddish snout
and red eyes. The inside of the ears was pinkish. The fawn
was feeding on grass and did not exhibit any abnormal activity.
Earlier Champion (1938) sighted an albino Sambar hind
in the mixed Sal and Chir pine forest near Chaukhamb in the
hills of Kohtri valley. Pillay (1953) also reported seeing an
albino Sambar hind and an albino Sambar stag from Talamalai
range of north Coimabatore. Another record of a museum
specimen of albino Sambar from the Archaeological Museum
of Udaipur was given by Tehsin (2006). Sangai Express
(March 30, 2010) published the birth of a white coloured
fawn on March 23, 2010, at Manipur Zoological Garden,
CHAMPION, H.G. (1938): An Albino Sambar. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 40(2): 322-323.
PILLAY, B.S. (1953): An Albino Sambar. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 51(4): 935.
TEHSIN, R.H. (2006): An Albino Sambar Cervus unicolor Kerr. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 103(1): 97.
Fig. 1: Albino Sambar Rusa unicolor sighted at Corbett Tiger
6. CONSERVATION STATUS OF RAJAJI-CORBETT CORRIDOR
FOR TIGER AND ELEPHANT MOVEMENT
A.J.T. JOHNSINGH1, BIVASH PANDAV2,3, K. RAMESH2,4 AND QAMAR QURESHI2,5
1Nature Conservation Foundation, Mysore and WWF-India. Email: email@example.com
2Wildlife Institute of India, P.O. Box 18, Chandrabani, Dehradun 248 001, Uttarakand, India.
Rajaji-Corbett corridor, composed of two stretches of
forests, connects two tiger-elephant national parks in northern
India. The southern stretch (c. 300 sq. km), including the
forests of Haridwar forest division and Bijnor plantation
division, is highly fragmented and heavily disturbed. Although
used by elephants (Elephas maximus), due to high levels of
MENON, V. (2003): A Field Guide to Indian Mammals. Dorling
Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd.
PRATER, S.H. (2005): The Book of Indian Animals. Bombay Natural
History Society. Oxford University Press, UK.
SHARMA, S.K. (2007): Study of Biodiversity and Ethnobiology of
Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary, Udaipur (Rajasthan). Ph.D. Thesis.
MLS University, Udaipur (Raj.).
TEHSIN, R.H. (1980): Occurrence of the Large Brown Flying Squirrel
and Mouse Deer near Udaipur, Rajasthan. J. Bombay Nat. Hist.
Soc. 77(3): 498.