Lichen, Truffles, and Juniper— Our flying squirrels were brought to the zoo as babies, orphaned when their nests were displaced. Through a partnership with the San Diego Natural History Museum, US Fish and Wildlife, and Forestry Service, Big Bear Alpine Zoo educates the public about the uniqueness of our flying squirrels here in Big Bear.
Living in high-elevation (between 4,600 and 7,550 feet), mixed-conifer forests dominated by Jeffrey pine, white fir and black oak, flying squirrels thrive in forests with big trees and closed-canopy cover. Their choice of habitat includes large snags (standing dead trees) that provide nesting cavities, downed logs that foster the growth of the truffles they eat, and understory cover that provides protection from predators. They have parachute-like panels of skin that stretch from wrist to ankle, allowing them to glide between trees.