Group of white squirrels observed in Edinburgh, Scotland

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

There have been several recent reports in the media of a family of at least four white ‘grey’ squirrels living in the Barnton area of Edinburgh, Scotland. White morphs, which are not the same as alibinos with red eyes, result from a gene mutation that codes for pigmentation. They are rare in the UK. See: […]

LIFE14 NAT/UK/000467 National red squirrel project launched

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

An EU funded and National Lottery Sciurus Life project is launched that will enable local communities across the north of England and Wales to become involved in conserving the red squirrel. The Sciurius Life project aims are to: Develop mechanisms to prevent the unintentional introduction of grey squirrels to currently uncolonised woodland landscapes; Develop early warning/rapid response mechanisms to ensure the island of Anglesey in North Wales is not recolonised; Develop rapid response mechanisms to mitigate the impacts of grey squirrels in urban woodlands with high biodiversity and tourism value; Develop early warning systems to detect grey squirrels in sparsely populated rural landscapes; Develop more efficient strategic mechanisms to evolve community-based grey squirrel management; Quantify the financial and community-based resources needed to achieve regional eradication; […]

Studies on leoprosy in red squirrels to start on Bownsea Island in Poole Harbour

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Several cases of a strain of leprosy bacteria were found in red squirrels in Scotland in 2014 and it may have been present in squirrel populations for a long time. Leprosy has also been identified in squirrels from the Isle of Wight, and Brownsea Island in Poole Harbour off the south coast of England. Brownsea […]

Isle of Man – consults the public on whether to introduce red squirrels

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

The Manx Government is running a public consultation until 27 April 2016 on whether red squirrels should be released onto the island. Red squirrels have never been native to the island and if the decision to release is ‘yes’, then a licence under the Wildlife Act 1990 would be required.  Details can be found on the Official […]

The Caledonian Forest Wildlife Project in Scotland set to help red squirrels

Friday, August 28th, 2015

A new Caledonian Forest Wildlife Project in Scotland involving Trees for Life and the Highland Foundation for Wildlife plans to translocate red squirrels from thriving populations in Moray and Inverness to 10 new locations – these sites still to be confirmed. The Project will be funded by a grant of £61,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (see […]

New book on red squirrel conservation published

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

A new book on the ecology, conservation and management of red squirrels has recently been published by the European Squirrel Initiative: Shuttleworth, C., Lurz, P., & Hayward, M. (2015) Red Squirrels: Ecology, Conservation & Management in Europe, 328 pp. European Squirrel Initiative, Woodbridge, Suffolk UK. Full details of the contents of the book can be found on […]

The squirrel that kills and eats deer

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

A recent article in The Washington Post describes a species of ground squirrel in Borneo that jumps on unsuspecting muntjac deer and rips open its jugular vein. After the deer has bled out, the squirrel apparently feeds on its heart, stomach and liver, but not the flesh. The story concerns the antics of the tufted ground squirrel (Reithrosciurus macrotis) and is […]

Fermate lo scoiattolo grigio”, Francia e Svizzera contro l’Italia

Monday, February 9th, 2015

The Italian newspaper La Zampa – La Stampa (Turin) have published an interesting article saying that both France and Switzerland have warned Italy that there will be a diplomatic ‘war’ if they  find a single grey squirrel in their territory. Time will tell!

To cull or not to cull grey squirrels!

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

The debate about whether grey squirrels should be controlled has recently come into focus again on the BBC’s Breakfast TV programme. Grey squirrels are already controlled to minimise damage to trees and for red squirrel conservation but apparently  the UK Government is considering whether more needs to be done. The arguments for and against are emotive […]

New disease threat to red squirrels in Scotland

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

A new disease threat has recently been identified in red squirrels from Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland (BBC Scotland). Six animals have been found infected with a bacteria similar to Mycobacterium lepromatosis which causes leprosy. Signs of the disease are swollen nose, eyelids, ears and feet. Prof Anna Meredith from the Royal Dick School of […]