Red Squirrels in Danger


The Cowal Red Squirrel Group is currently undertaking a study in order to determine whether rope bridges help prevent road deaths.

The Grey Squirrel

The red squirrel is the only squirrel native to the British Isles. However, most people in the UK are more familiar with its close relative, the grey squirrel, which was introduced here from North America in the late 19th century, and now outnumbers red squirrels by about twenty to one. Grey squirrels have become the most common species of squirrel across the UK, and have displaced reds by dominating most of the foods shared by both species. One estimate put the UK’s red squirrel population at about 160,000. Three quarters of these are to be found in Scotland.

Even in Scotland the red squirrel is not safe. Grey squirrels have completely displaced it throughout much of lowland Scotland, and they continue to spread out from the Clyde Valley, Angus, south Perthshire and Aberdeen. They currently threaten our native squirrel in what we believe to be its heartlands in the Highlands, north Perthshire, Grampian, Argyll and Dumfries and Galloway.