Two children are investigating flying squirrel signs at the foot of a tree.
Learning how to make a flying squirrel inventory. Photo: Elina Pilke.

The story of the flying squirrel is one worth telling

In order to gain knowledge and an understanding of the flying squirrel and convey it to the general public, we will be investigating the impacts of the project on the state of the flying squirrel population. We will be discussing the flying squirrel in a variety of ways.

The themes are listed below: Socio-economic impacts, Ecosystem impacts, Communication and Exhibitions (project activity code in brackets).

Socio-economic impacts (D2)

What thoughts come to mind concerning protection of the flying squirrel? Would I like to have a flying squirrel living next door? How much does it cost to protect the living conditions of a flying squirrel? What kind of impacts can forest use have on the entire distribution area of the flying squirrel? We humans are interested in many things!

We will prepare a comprehensive report on the socio-economic impacts of the Flying Squirrel LIFE Project.

Ecosystem impacts (D3)

How will different methods of protecting flying squirrels affect the forest structure and the distribution of the species in the future? For example, if the amount of suitable habitat or movement corridors between habitats is given priority in the use of forests, will it be necessary to reduce forestry yields over the long term?

In the project, the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) will compare the estimated impacts of various felling and conservation measures on the number of forests and habitat networks of flying squirrels.

The consequences of different objectives will be assessed over a period of a few decades, i.e. as future scenarios.

By comparing scenarios, it will be possible to identify an appropriate strategic approach in which both the protection of flying squirrels and the commercial use of forests can be combined in a sustainable manner.

Communication (E2)

We will discuss the flying squirrel and the work done within the project in a comprehensive manner, using a variety of channels. Meetings with landowners and other stakeholders are an important part of disseminating information on the flying squirrel.

The life of the flying squirrel can be monitored by means of nest camera broadcasts. There have been two broadcasts made with cameras maintained by the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation and the Kuopio Natural History Museum:

New nature trails will also provide easy access into the flying squirrel forest in Jyväskylä and Rekijokilaakso. There is a “flying squirrel ambassador” and nature school in Kuopio.

We organise a variety of events, for example, at Finnish Nature Centre Haltia.

Environmental education and exhibitions (E3)

We have published an Environmental Education Package to share information and provide educational tips related the flying squirrel.

A new exhibition opened at Finnish Nature Centre Haltia in the spring of 2020.

Mobile exhibition has been built in the Kuopio Natural History Museum in the spring 2022.

In Estonia, the flying squirrel exhibition will be built in the Iisaku Nature Centre, in the middle of the area where the species occurs in northeastern Estonia.

Last updated 1 March 2022