Photo of the red squirrel is by Gregor Mima from Pixabay

The red squirrel is a protected species mainly because of the increase of the more proliferous grey squirrel. The red squirrel is one of our most iconic, much-loved mammals.

Red squirrels also play a vital role in regenerating our woodlands, burying nuts and seeds which grow into future trees that sustain a host of native woodland dwellers.

Sadly, these charismatic creatures are under threat from the invasive non-native grey squirrel. Competition from the more robust grey squirrel for food and shelter, and infection by the deadly squirrel pox virus, which greys transmit to reds, has been the main factor in the red squirrel’s decline.