Red squirrel numbers rise

Numbers of red squirrels have risen for the third year in a row, according to the Red Squirrels Northern England project. The project, which monitors the numbers of red squirrels in Cumbria, has now done four monitoring projects, and has reported sightings of red squirrels in five per cent more sites than the last survey was carried out, with sightings registered in 300 locations.

Grey squirrels, which carry a pox deadly to the native red, were found at 15 per cent more sites, but Red Squirrels Northern England says it expected to see a recovery after food shortfalls in 2012 hit the population.

The report states, “The findings of this monitoring round provide further evidence that red squirrel range in northern England is at least stable, after similarly positive results in the monitoring rounds of 2012 and spring 2013. The red squirrel range demonstrated is the largest since the project began, certainly highlighting increase vigilance and record submission but perhaps also suggesting improvements in the conservation status of the species. Statistical testing of all our monitoring data will now begin, enabling us to test these apparent improvements in more detail.”


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