Author Archive

Mixed news for red squirrels in Ireland

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

The All-Ireland Squirrel and Pine Marten Survey 2019 has been published by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The findings are encouraging. For example, pine marten sightings have increased over the last seven years and their core range has expanded from the west and midlands to County Wicklow and Northern Ireland. At the same time, […]

Portugal’s red squirrels hit by an adenovirus

Friday, May 29th, 2020

According to the Portugal Resident publication, red squirrels inĀ  Portugal are being killed by a strain of adenovirus found in South Korea. Scientists are trying to establish how this has occurred.

Red squirrel numbers in Scotland remain stable

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

The latest survey of red and grey squirrels in Scotland indicates that numbers are stable with some minor regional changes and some optimism for the future. Further details can be found in: The National, The Canary, The Herald.

Red squirrels recognise the odour of pine martens, grey squirrels don’t

Friday, February 28th, 2020

Joshua Twining and colleagues from Queen’s University Belfast have recently published a study in Royal Society Open Science that shows that red squirrels are better than grey squirrels at detecting the scent of pine martens. This may be one reason why alien grey squirrels tend to ‘disappear’ when pine martens move into an area, whereas […]

Ambidextrous squirrels do best

Monday, January 20th, 2020

Lisa Leaver and colleagues at Exeter University have studied whether grey squirrels are left-handed or right-handed in laboratory tests. Many squirrels appeared to favour their left or their right paw, but these squirrels performed less well than those which were ambidextrous. The studies, which will be published in the scientific journal Learning and Behaviour, contribute […]

Can female grey squirrels be made sterile in an attempt to eradicate the invasive species?

Monday, January 13th, 2020

The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh is spearheading a study to edit the genes of male squirrels to contain a gene-drive that, once the males are released, should quickly spread throughout the population and make future females sterile. The idea is that the spread of female infertility in the population will mean the population is unable […]

Alert: possible outbreak of squirrel pox disease in red squirrels in Cumbria

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

An unconfirmed case of a red squirrel with squirrelpox virus disease at Smardale Nature Reserve, Cumbria was reported by a Cumbria Wildlife Trust volunteer. The virus is carried by grey squirrels and the disease it causes in red squirrels is invariably fatal. Local people and volunteer groups are being asked to be vigilant and sterilise […]

Great Squirrel Scottish Survey 2019

Friday, December 6th, 2019

Over 600 people took part in the first Great Scottish Squirrel Survey which was carried out from 23-29 September this year. Greys were reported 198 times and red squirrels 630 times. These valuable findings provide insights into how red squirrels are faring in different parts of the country and the efforts of many people in […]

Red squirrels moved to repopulate Sutherland in Scotland

Monday, October 21st, 2019

Trees for Life have embarked on their latest phase to reintroduce red squirrels across the Scottish Highlands by translocating 20 animals from Inverness-shire and Moray to Ledmore and Migdale Woods in Sutherland. Red squirrels were present in these areas until about 20 years ago and critically grey squirrels are absent (The Scotsman, The Herald).

Pine martens introduced into the Forest of Dean

Friday, October 4th, 2019

People interested in wildlife in general and squirrels in particular will be closely following the progress of pine martens recently introduced into the Forest of Dean in the counties of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire. Eighteen martens were moved from Scotland to the Forest of Dean by Forestry England, the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust, the Vincent Wildlife […]