In August we spent just short of three weeks in the Baltic state of Estonia, a part of Europe we have never visited previously. Apart from work at the Tallinn Zoo and Tartu University we had the opportunity to explore with knowledgable colleagues - looking for flying squirrel signs close to the Russian border, and European mink on the mainland and Hiiumaa Island. 

It is one of the countries in Europe with the highest levels of natural forest cover. Populations of moose (elk), red deer, roe deer, brown bear, wolves and lynx are high. But as in most countries not all is well! Our contacts Tiit and Uudo were outspoken on the unsustainable level of timber harvesting and it is set to be expanded. We saw the clear-cutting for ourselves and it reminded us of the extensive exploitation of forest in British Colombia. There we were told, 'But we have so much forest it has to be used!'

In Estonia the Russian flying squirrel is threatened by the loss of old trees with suitable nest holes, populations are becoming increasingly isolated. Over time it is likely that they will disappear at the hand of the foresters.