Flying squirrel corridors placed under protection
After a year and a half of preparations, the State Forest Management Center (RMK) has mapped and taken under protection movement corridors that connect 47 nesting areas of the Siberian flying squirrel population in Estonia.
The protection strategy had focused on protecting only the known habitats, but according to natural diversity specialist Toomas Hirse, this type of protection has little effect if the animals cannot move between the nesting areas and mate.
"RMK has, therefore, committed itself to preserving and shaping the movement corridors in state forests in a way that would help to secure the survival of the species in Estonia," he said.
The local flying squirrel population is mostly located in the Alutaguse area of Lääne-Viru and Ida-Viru counties, eastern Estonia.
The corridors stretch over 1,051 hectares of state owned forests. They will be fitted with platforms at 1.5-2 kilometer intervals, where the squirrels can take refuge, rest and feed.
The inventories and studies of the known habitats have revealed that the endangered Siberian flying squirrels, the only species of flying squirrels found in Europe, face a dire situation.