Sunday 31 May 2015

June 2015 Mammal of the Month - The Grey Squirrel

Photo Credit - Becky Thomas

Somehow we’ve reached June already so it’s time for a new mammal of the month for you all to spot in the long evenings. This month it’s the grey squirrel. Not everyone's favourite squirrel in the UK but in suburban and urban areas probably the wild mammal that you'll most often see.

Our top five grey squirrel facts are:
  1. They originally come from the USA and were introduced into the UK over many years from the 1870s through to the late 1920s.
  2. Their tails can be as long as the rest of their bodies (tails up to 24 cm, body length 24-28.5 cm)
  3. Their nests are called dreys and they often use twigs that they cut straight from the tree with leaves still on (birds use dead twigs).
  4. Females can have two litters a year, in spring and again in the summer, with 3 or 4 young in each litter.
  5. As they are not a native species and are often considered a pest it is illegal to release one back into the wild in the UK without a special exemption certificate (some wildlife rehabilitation centres have these).

 Find out more with the national Mammal Society’s fact sheet for the species 
Photo Credit - Damian Carter

Please record all of your grey squirrel sightings for us at our recording page – we have surprisingly few squirrel records considering how many are around. Don’t forget that we also welcome records of all wild mammals all year round so please don’t restrict yourselves to the Mammal of the Month!

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