General

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).

UK Squirrel Accord – new website

Monday, September 16th, 2019

The UK Squirrel Accord aims to secure and expand native red squirrel populations and prevent damage to trees by managing introduced grey squirrels. It is a partnership of 37 forestry and conservation organisations, Government agencies and companies, and has connections to volunteer red squirrel groups. It has launched a new website (UK Squirrel Accord) which […]

Grey squirrels adjust levels of vigilance behaviour according to bird chatter

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

A new study by Marie Lilly and co-workers from Oberlin College in Ohio USA (see Publications page) have demonstrated how grey squirrels eavesdrop on bird chatter and adjust their levels of vigilance behaviour in line with that of the birds. For example, when birds emit calls while not under the threat of predation, squirrels exhibit […]

New studies on the origins of melanism in grey squirrels

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

A wild melanic (black/dark brown) introduced grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) was first seen in the UK in Woburn, Bedfordshire in 1912. It is now believed there may be as many as 25,000 in East Anglia. Recently published research by Helen McRobie from Anglia Ruskin University UK, and colleagues from USA, Nancy Moncrief and Nicholas Mundy, […]

Invasive Alien Species Order 2019

Monday, February 25th, 2019

From 29th March 2019, the EU Invasive Alien Species Order 2019 will take effect. As a result, Government Agencies will not issue licences that allow “invasive” species taken into captivity because they were injured or orphaned, such as grey squirrels or muntjac deer, to be looked after or released back into the wild. This will […]

Plans to reintroduce red squirrels into eastern England

Friday, December 28th, 2018

Shaun Morris, a farmer from East Yorkshire, England says he will breed animals in Holderness, an area in East Riding, and release them into woodland which he owns (BBC News).