top of page

Nature Trail 8

Grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis
8

The grey squirrel is one of our most common woodland species, but this is not a good thing! The grey squirrel was introduced from America in 1876 and rapidly spread across the length and breadth of England and Wales.

They are considerably larger than our native red squirrels and their introduction has led to the localised extinction of the red throughout England and most of Wales, not because the grey physically harms the red but because it reproduces more rapidly, out competes the red as they eat a more varied diet and, perhaps most importantly, they carry squirrel pox, a disease that the greys are immune too but kills the reds.

As well as having a direct impact on their red cousins, the greys can be very damaging to our woodlands and out compete other species as well. Grey squirrels can eat bark off of trees, which can lead to damaged canopies and even tree death. They can eat hazel nuts when they are still green, so out compete our other nut eaters, like dormice, and they are also known to predate birds nests for eggs and chicks.
The grey squirrel is one of our most common woodland species, but this is not a good thing! The grey squirrel was introduced from America in 1876 and rapidly spread across the length and breadth of England and Wales.

They are considerably larger than our native red squirrels and their introduction has led to the localised extinction of the red throughout England and most of Wales, not because the grey physically harms the red but because it reproduces more rapidly, out competes the red as they eat a more varied diet and, perhaps most importantly, they carry squirrel pox, a disease that the greys are immune too but kills the reds.

As well as having a direct impact on their red cousins, the greys can be very damaging to our woodlands and out compete other species as well. Grey squirrels can eat bark off of trees, which can lead to damaged canopies and even tree death. They can eat hazel nuts when they are still green, so out compete our other nut eaters, like dormice, and they are also known to predate birds nests for eggs and chicks.

bottom of page