RED SQUIRRELS FACTSHEET

Red Squirrels Northern England

 

Red squirrels in the UK are under threat from the introduced grey squirrel. Numbers in the UK have fallen from a onetime high thought to be around 3.5 million, to a current estimated population of around 120,000. The population in England is thought to be as low as 15,000. The most significant threat associated with grey squirrels is the spread and transmission of a disease called squirrelpox virus. Grey squirrels do not suffer from the virus but once a red has become infected they will invariably die within two weeks.

 

Red Squirrels Northern England is a new project that aims to increase red squirrel populations through a program of tightly monitored and targeted grey squirrel control. They also carry out biannual monitoring of red and grey squirrel distribution throughout the north of England. To find out more about their work or log a sighting, please visit www.rsne.org.uk.

 

RED SQUIRREL FACTS

  • THEY STORE THEIR NUTS IN THE GROUND IN THE AUTUMN.
  • THEY DO NOT HIBERNATE OVER WINTER.
  • THEY CAN SWIM.
  • SQUIRRELS EAT NUTS, SEEDS, BUDS, BERRIES, FLOWERS, SHOOTS AND FRUIT FROM MANY TREES AND SHRUBS.
  • THEY EAT FUNGII AND INSECTS OCCASIONALLY.
  • THEY CAN BE RIGHT OR LEFT HANDED WHEN EATING A PINE CONE.
  • SQUIRRELS MOULT THEIR COAT TWICE A YEAR, ONCE AFTER WINTER AND THEN AGAIN IN THE LATE SUMMER BEFORE IT GETS COLD AGAIN.