WV_FlyingSquirrel_182x116 Flying High Saving a flying squirrel means saving its red spruce home. WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 1-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS310X404 Researchers track the movement of nocturnal flying squirrels in Monongahela National Forest. 2_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 2-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-615X405 West Virginia northern flying squirrels depend on red spruce trees for their survival. 3_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 3-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-310X405 Virginia Tech doctoral student Corinne Diggins prepares live traps to capture and study West Virginia northern flying squirrels. 4_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 4-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-310X405 Once caught, the squirrels are measured, weighed, tagged, have blood drawn and are sometimes fitted with radio tracking collars. 5_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 5-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-310X405 Metal tags record trees that house researcher's nest boxes. 6_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 6-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-310X405 Researchers use radio signals to log the rodents nighttime foraging locations. 7_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 7-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-310X405 Research assistant Laurel Schablein and Forest Service worker Rick Doyle check on hundreds of nest boxes. 8_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 8-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-615X405 Researchers Corinne Diggins and Craig Stihler attach a radio collar to a flying squirrel. 9_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 9-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-310X405 To determine where red spruce once grew and where they should be restored, scientists dig into the earth to view soil horizons. 10_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 10-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-310X405 Areas that contain this distinct layering in the soil show a long history of red spruce dominance. 11_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 11-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-615X405 The Conservancy has helped plant more than 300,000 seedlings, which should convert places like this former surface-mining site at Cheat Mountain back into functional forests. 12_WVSquirrel_ss_60x60 12-FLYINGSQUIRREL-SS-615X405 Corinne Diggins and the other researchers set their traps in a variety of spruce and hardwood locations to account for the West Virginia northern flying squirrel's foraging and denning habits.