Colugos are little-known, forest-dwelling animals that have huge gliding membranes, similar to flying squirrels. This enables them to make spectacular leaps from tree to tree in the Asian rainforests.
Scientific name: Galeopterus variegatus
Night-time footage shows the energy-efficient gliding skills of the colugo.
To capture the entire sequence of a colugo glide, the crew set up highly efficient HMI lights (hydrargyrum medium arc-length iodide). Concerns that the hot, bright lights might affect the colugo's behaviour were not borne out. The greatest difficulty was predicting the launch and landing sites, so the crew had to film all night every night to be in with a chance.
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
The Malayan colugo can be found in a number of locations including: Asia. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the Malayan colugo distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Decreasing
Year assessed: 2008
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
The Sunda flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus), also known as the Malayan flying lemur, is a species of colugo (see below for notes on the common name "flying lemur"). Until recently, it was thought to be one of only two species of flying lemur, the other being the Philippine flying lemur which is found only in the Philippines. 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 (13 to 15 in). Its tail length is around 24 to 25 cm (9.4 to 9.8 in), and its weight is 0.9 to 1.3 kg (2.0 to 2.9 lb).
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 believed to be probably not fast enough to trigger listing in any category other than Least Concern.
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