Are alien grey squirrels cleverer than native red squirrels in Britain?

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

A recent paper published in the scientific journal Animal Behaviour by Pizza Chow and colleagues has demonstrated that alien grey squirrels are slightly better than native red squirrels at solving certain problems involving the removal of hazelnuts from transparent plastic containers. The study has attracted a lot of attention in the media (International Business Times, UPI, Sky News, Channel […]

Scotland’s red squirrels holding their own

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

A 2017 survey by Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) has indicated that red squirrels in Scotland have stabilised throughout much of the country, although there are regional differences. For example, there have been gains in the north-east around Aberdeen where grey squirrels have been extensively culled, and gains around Loch Lomand and the Trossachs National Park, […]

New forest in Northumberland could benefit red squirrels

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

A new 354 ha forest is to be planted at Doddington North Moor, in Northumberland in the north of England over the next two to three years. The Forestry Commission have approved plans for planting >600,000 trees,; these will include 146 ha of Sitka spruce, 72 ha of native broadleaves and 46 ha of Scots […]

Squirrel turns off Xmas lights in New Jersey

Monday, December 4th, 2017

Police in Sea Girt, New Jersey apprehended a squirrel on Saturday morning accused of vandalising the annual Christmas Lights display (IBTimes, India, UK PressFrom, MSN). Whilst this probably results from some cheeky wire nibbling by the grey squirrel; the picture of what looks suspiciously like a Eurasian red squirrel that accompanies some of these reports […]

Red squirrels moved to NW Scotland doing well

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Over 80 red squirrels moved from various parts of Scotland to areas in the north west Highlands which did not have squirrels, are doing well and starting to spread into new areas (BBC News). The relocations were first carried out in spring 2016 and spring 2017. The project is led by Trees for Life.

Vikings, squirrels and leprosy

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

Studies on a ~1000-year-old skull of a Medieval woman from Hoxne in the East of England by scientists from the University of Cambridge, showed signs that she had suffered from leprosy. Similar signs of the same strain of leprosy have been found in skeletal remains from Denmark and Sweden from the same period. It is […]

New poxvirus found in red squirrels in Germany

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

A poxvirus called BerSQPV has been isolated from red squirrels near Berlin in Germany. Several abandoned weak young red squirrels were given to a squirrel sanctuary in 2015 and 2016. Each one showed some signs similar to squirrelpox virus in red squirrels in Britain and Ireland including exudative and erosive-to-ulcerative dermatitis and scabs to the ears, […]

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 […]