The Super Squirrels

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

The Super Squirrels is a BBC TV Natural World documentary programme first shown on 19th June 2018 and currently can be viewed on BBC iPlayer until 18th July. It covers why squirrels (tree squirrels, flying squirrels, ground squirrels) are such a widespread and successful group of mammals. The programme includes items on squirrel caching behaviour and their […]

Reintroducing pine martens to help conserve native red squirrels in Britain and Ireland

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

A recent article by Iloma Amos in The Scotsman discusses how releasing pine martens can help keep numbers of alien grey squirrels down, which in turn allows native red squirrels to prosper.

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: […]