UK red squirrels are on the rise

Red squirrel numbers are increasing, particularly in Anglesey and the north-east of England. The red squirrel had been declining since the grey squirrel was introduced from North America 140 years ago. Grey squirrels thrive better in British woodland as they can eat acorns, which reds cannot. They also carry the squirrel pox virus, which only affects red squirrels. A determined effort to selectively kill grey squirrels in certain areas has allowed the red squirrel population to recover slightly. There are still only about 140,000 red squirrels in the UK, compared with over 2.5 million greys.

If you want to learn more about the red squirrel, be sure to check out the upcoming feature in World of Animals issue 4, on sale February 20th.