The Red giant flying squirrel is a large species of flying squirrel. They have a membrane of skin between their legs and arms, which is used to glide between trees. These flying squirrels have dark red colouring, large eyes and long slender tail. Entire body is dark reddish except for black on nose, chin, eye-ring, behind the ears, feet and tail tip.
Red giant flying squirrels are found in northern South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia. Their range extends from Afghanistan, into northern India and Pakistan through to Java, and Taiwan, and also Sri Lanka. They can also be found in parts of Borneo and were recorded in Peninsular Malaysia, including Penang, Tioman Island and also Singapore. These flying squirrels inhabit a wide range of forests. They live in moist evergreen broadleaf forest, coniferous forests, scrub forest, rocky areas and in mountain peaks.
Red giant flying squirrels are solitary and arboreal. They are good climbers and can glide for long distances up to 75 metres (250 ft.) or greater. They live in nest holes which are usually located at least 10m above ground. Red giant flying squirrels do not hibernate but may migrate to areas with more food. They are also able to explore conifer plantations and use them as feeding and resting areas. These flying squirrels are nocturnal being most active between sunset and midnight. They usually become vocal during the evening hours and their low, monotonous moan is believed to be a mating call.
Red giant flying squirrels are herbivorous animals. They feed primarily on conifer cones, leaves and branches, and, when in season, fruits and nuts, and occasionally insects.
Little is known about the mating system and reproductive behavior of Red giant flying squirrels. They usually breed once a year. Females give birth to 1 or 2 kittens in February and August. Young are nursed in a nest made by the mother until 2.5 months of age.
Mian threat to Red giant flying squirrels is habitat destruction due to logging, agriculture, dam construction, infrastructure development, and urbanization.
According to IUCN, the Red giant flying squirrel is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List, however its numbers today are decreasing.