General

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 [...]

UK Squirrel Initiative – Meeting 2nd May 2014

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Representatives from more than 50 parties interested in squirrels met at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, Scotland on 2nd May to discuss a new squirrel accord to conserve red squirrels. HRH Prince Charles attended during the afternoon. Speakers included The Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,  Mr Paul Wheelhouse [...]

Return of the red squirrel to Portugal

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Red squirrels became extinct in Portugal in the 16th century, probably as a result of hunting and deforestation. Now, recent news reports (Portuguese American Journal, The Portugal News Online) indicate that it is making a return. Red squirrels moved across from northwest Spain in the 1980s and sightings suggest it has now reached as far [...]

The Grey Squirrels (Prohibition of Importation and Keeping) Order of 1937 is to be abolished.

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

On 18th March 2014, Oliver Heald, the Solicitor General, informed a government committee on deregulation: “The order requires occupiers to report the presence of grey squirrels on their land to facilitate the eradication of that species. However, it is no longer considered feasible to eradicate grey squirrels, so the requirement to report their presence on [...]

New study on squirrelpox virus indicates transmission routes

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

A study recently published in PLOS ONE (also see Publications Page) by a team of leading researchers led by Quercus, the biodiversity and conservation research centre at Queen’s University, Belfast, indicates that the virus could be spread from grey squirrel to grey squirrel or grey squirrel to red squirrel in various ways. The virus, which [...]

Red squirrels thriving on the Isle of Arran

Friday, January 31st, 2014

A recent study by a team of scientists led by Prof. Anna Meredith (Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh) has found that the red squirrels on the Isle of Arran are fit and in good health with no signs of the presence of squirrelpox virus. Arran is one of 19 Scottish red [...]

Resistance to poxvirus observed in red squirrels at Formby, Lancashire, England

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Some 10% of the red squirrels captured at the National Trust’s Red Squirrel Reserve at Formby, Lancashire in recent years have had antibodies to squirrelpox virus in their blood. Red squirrels at the Reserve were hit badly by an outbreak of pox in 2008, and the population has been recovering since then (BBC News) The [...]

Red squirrels on Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

In October 2012, five red squirrels (one female and four males), were transported by helicopter from the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey, England to the Island of Tresco (297 ha) in the Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall in SW England. The aim  is to produce an island safe haven for the animals. A [...]

Good news about red squirrels in the North of England

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) have recently published the Spring 2013 Report of their standardised squirrel monitoring programme across the north of England. The good news is that there has been  a 7% increase in tetrads (2 km by 2 km squares) reporting the presence of red squirrels since last year and an 18% decline in [...]

Numbers of red squirrels seen on the Isle of Wight down

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Numbers of red squirrels seen on the Isle of Wight appear to have fallen this year. In a BBC News Hampshire and Isle of Wight article, it has been suggested that this results from a combination of the wet summer in 2012 affecting the survival of young animals, an increase in the number of buzzards [...]