The Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel, Glaucomys sabrinus, is a species of nocturnal flying squirrel that inhabits the Appalachian Mountains in the southeast United States. Human impact has had a large detrimental effect on the flying squirrel’s population, particularly since the early 1900s when industrial-scale logging depleted up to 90% of the flying squirrel’s habitat. This model is a prediction of suitable habitat based on observations of G. sabrinus habitat in other areas. The methodology for this model involved creating feature layers of areas dominated by the desired tree types and desired precipitation levels. Previous studies have shown that G. sabrinus prefers habitat in proximity to, but not within, Pruce and Hemlock forests, so I created a buffer around areas with those tree types. Then I re-classified the elevation DEM and created a polygon, overlayed forest type, elevation and precipitation to get the final result (click here for model flow chart). The parameters were based from a review of live trap studies, and input data was downloaded from The National Park GIS portal and the U.S. Weather Service data portal. This model would be most useful as a tool to assist in selecting potential locations the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for further studies to assess the species’ population.

Original map is 11 x 17 inches. Click here for full-size pdf.