Red squirrel range
The red squirrel or Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) is a species of tree squirrel (genus Sciurus). Carl Linnaeus (Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as, May 23 new style (13 May old style 1707 who laid the foundations for In Biology, a species is one of the basic units of Biological classification and a Taxonomic rank. Although the term tree squirrel can refer to any Arboreal member of the family Sciuridae, it is generally in reference to the common and widely distributed A genus (plural genera from Γένος Latin genus "descent family type gender" is a low-level Taxonomic Although the term tree squirrel can refer to any Arboreal member of the family Sciuridae, it is generally in reference to the common and widely distributed The red squirrel is a tree-dwelling omnivorous rodent that is common throughout Eurasia. A tree is a perennial Woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or Omnivores (from Latin omne all everything vorare to devour are species that eat both Plants and Animals as their primary Rodentia is an order of Mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously-growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must For the superstate in George Orwell 's novel see Nations of Nineteen Eighty-Four. In Britain, however, numbers have decreased drastically, in part due to the introduction of the eastern grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) from North America. The eastern gray squirrel ( Sciurus carolinensis) is a Tree squirrel native to the eastern and Midwestern United States and to the southerly
The red squirrel has a typical head-and-body length of 19 to 23 cm (7. A centimetre ( American spelling: centimeter, symbol cm) is a unit of Length in the Metric system, equal to one hundredth 5 to 9 in), a tail length of 15 to 20 cm (5. 9 to 7. 9 in) and a mass of 250 to 340 g (8. For other uses of the words gram or gramme see Gram (disambiguation. 8 to 12 oz). It is not sexually dimorphic, as males and females are the same size. Sexual dimorphism is the systematic difference in form between individuals of different Sex in the same Species. The red squirrel is slightly smaller than the eastern grey squirrel which has a head-and-body length of 25 to 30 cm (0. 8 to 1 foot) and weighs between 400 and 800 g (14 oz to 1. 8 lb). It is thought that the long tail helps the squirrel to balance and steer when jumping from tree to tree and running along branches and may keep the animal warm during sleep.
The coat of the red squirrel varies in colour with time of year and location. There are several different coat colour morphs ranging from black to red. Red coats are most common in Great Britain; in other parts of Europe and Asia the different coat colours co-exist within populations, much like hair colour in humans. See also Kingdom of Great Britain Great Britain (Breatainn Mhòr Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Graet Breetain is the larger of the two main islands The underside of the squirrel is always white-cream in colour. The red squirrel sheds its coat twice a year, switching from a thinner summer coat to a thicker, darker winter coat with noticeably larger ear-tufts (a prominent distinguishing feature of this species) between August and November. A lighter, redder overall coat colour, along with the larger ear-tufts, helps to distinguish the European red squirrel from both the eastern grey squirrel or the American red squirrel. The American Red Squirrel ( Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) is one of two species of tree squirrel currently classified in the genus Tamiasciurus and
The red squirrel, like most tree squirrels, has sharp, curved claws to enable the climbing of trees, even when branches are overhanging. A claw is a curved pointed appendage found at the end of a toe or finger in most Mammals, Birds, and some Reptiles.
Mating can occur in late winter during February and March and in summer between June and July. Up to two litters a year per female are possible. Each litter usually contains three or four young although as many as six may be born. Gestation is about 38 to 39 days. Gestation is the carrying of an Embryo or Fetus inside a Female Viviparous Animal. The young are looked after by the mother alone and are born helpless, blind and deaf and weigh between 10 and 15 g. Their body is covered by hair at 21 days, their eyes and ears open after three to four weeks, and they develop all their teeth by 42 days. Juvenile red squirrels can eat solids around 40 days following birth and from that point can leave the nest on their own to find food; however, they still suckle from their mother until weaning occurs at 8 to 10 weeks. Weaning is the process of gradually introducing a Mammal Infant, either human or animal to what will be its adult diet and withdrawing the supply of its mother's
During mating, males detect females that are in œstrus by an odor that they produce, and although there is no courtship the male will chase the female for up to an hour prior to mating. Oestrus is also the biological genus name of the gadfly. The estrous cycle (also oestrous cycle; derived from Latin Usually multiple males will chase a single female until the dominant male, usually the largest in the group, mates with the female. Males and females will mate multiple times with many partners. Females must reach a minimum body mass before they enter œstrus, and heavy females on average produce more young. If food is scarce breeding may be delayed. Typically a female will produce her first litter in her second year.
The lifespan of the red squirrel is on average 3 years, although individuals may reach 7 years of age, and 10 in captivity. Survival is positively related to availability of autumn–winter tree seeds; on average, 75–85% of juveniles disappear during their first winter, and mortality is approximately 50% for winters following the first. 
The red squirrel is native to coniferous forest and is also found in temperate broadleaf woodlands. Temperate coniferous forest is a terrestrial Biome found in temperate regions of the world with warm summers and cool winters and adequate rainfall to sustain a forest Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests temperate deciduous forest) --> are a Temperate and Humid Biome. The squirrel makes a nest known as a drey in a branch-fork of a conifer by laying down twigs to make a domed structure about 25 to 30 cm in diameter, then lining it with moss, leaves, grass and bark. A nest is a place of refuge to hold an animal's eggs and/or provide a place to raise their offspring Mosses are small soft Plants that are typically 1–10  cm (0 Bark, also known as periderm is the outermost layer of stems and Roots of Woody plants such as Trees It overlays the Wood and consists Hollows and woodpeckers' nests are also used. The woodpeckers, piculets and wrynecks are a family, Picidae, of Near-passerine Birds. The red squirrel is a solitary animal and is shy and reluctant to share food with others. However, outside the breeding season and particularly in winter, multiple red squirrels may share a drey to keep warm. The breeding season is the most suitable season usually with favorable conditions and abundant food and water for breeding among some wild animals and birds (wildlife Social organization is based on dominance hierarchies among and between sexes; although males are not necessarily dominant to females, the dominant animals tend to be larger and older than subordinate animals, and dominant males tend to have larger home ranges than subordinate males or females. 
The red squirrel eats mostly the seeds of trees, neatly stripping conifer cones to get at the seeds within. A seed (in some plants referred to as a kernel) is a small embryonic Plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat usually with some stored Fungi, birds' eggs, berries and young shoots are also eaten. A fungus (ˈfʌŋgəs is a eukaryotic Organism that is a member of the kingdom Fungi (ˈfʌndʒaɪ In most Birds and Reptiles an egg ( Latin ovum) is the Zygote, resulting from Fertilization of the Ovum. The word berry has two meanings one based on a botanical definition the other on common identification Often the bark of trees is removed to allow access to sap. Between 60% and 80% of its active period may be spent foraging and feeding.  Excess food is put into caches, either buried or in nooks or holes in trees, and eaten when food is scarce. Although the red squirrel remembers where it created caches at a better-than-chance level, its spatial memory is substantially less accurate and durable than that of grey squirrel; it therefore will often have to search for them when in need, and many caches are never found again. In Cognitive psychology and Neuroscience, spatial memory is the part of Memory responsible for recording information about one's environment and its spatial No territories are maintained, and the feeding areas of individuals overlap considerably.
The active period for the red squirrel is in the morning and in the late afternoon and evening. It often rests in its nest in the middle of the day, avoiding the heat and the high visibility to birds of prey that are dangers during these hours. Birds of prey are Birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing using their keen senses especially vision During the winter, this mid-day rest is often much more brief, or absent entirely, although harsh weather may cause the animal to stay in its nest for up to days at a time.
Arboreal predators include small mammals including the pine marten, wild cats, and the stoat, which preys on nestlings; birds, including owls and raptors such as the goshawk and buzzards, may also take the red squirrel. WikipediaManual of Style (spelling, articles should conform to one overall spelling style of English typically the one most linked to the article topic (if it is geographic The Owls are an order of birds of prey. Most are Solitary, and nocturnal, with some exceptions (e The Goshawk ('ɡɔːshɔːk Accipiter gentilis; from OE góshafoc 'goose-hawk' is a medium-large Bird of prey in the family Accipitridae A buzzard is one of several large birds but there are a number of meanings as detailed below The red fox, cats and dogs can prey upon the red squirrel when it is on the ground. The Red Fox ( Vulpes vulpes) is a Mammal of the order Carnivora. Humans influence the population size and mortality of the red squirrel by destroying or altering habitats, by causing road casualties, and by controlling populations by hunting.
The red squirrel is protected in most of Europe, as it is listed in Appendix III of the Bern Convention; it is also listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. The Bern Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats 1979 also known as the Bern Convention (or Berne Convention) came The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List) created in 1963 is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global In some areas it is abundant and is hunted for its fur. Although not thought to be under any threat worldwide, the red squirrel has drastically reduced in number in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Fewer than 140,000 individuals are thought to be left, approximately 85% of which are in Scotland. Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. This population decrease is often ascribed to the introduction of the eastern grey squirrel from North America, but the loss and fragmentation of its native woodland habitat has also played a major role.
In order to conserve the remaining numbers of the red squirrel, the UK government in January 2006 announced a mass culling program for the eastern grey squirrel. This was welcomed by many conservation groups. An earlier cull of the eastern grey squirrel began in 1998 on the North Wales island of Anglesey. This facilitated the natural recovery of the remaining red squirrel populations and has been followed by the successful reintroduction of the red squirrel into Newborough Forest. Newborough Forest is a Forest to the west of Newborough Anglesey, North Wales.  The UK has established a local program known as the "North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership", an element of the national Biodiversity Action Plan. This article is about a conservation biology topic For other uses of BAP see BAP (disambiguation. This program is administered by the Grampian Squirrel Society, with an aim of protecting the red squirrel; the program centers on the Banchory and Cults areas. Grampian ( Roinn a' Mhonaidh in Gaelic) was a local government region of Scotland from 1975 to 1996 Banchory ( Scottish Gaelic: Beannchar, 'blessed place' is a Burgh or town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, lying approximately 18 miles Cults is a Suburb on the western edge of Aberdeen, Scotland. It lies on the banks of the River Dee and marks the eastern terminus of Royal
There are also several local conservation groups in the UK, for example, the Red Squirrel Conservation group in Mallerstang, Cumbria. Mallerstang is a Civil parish in the extreme east of Cumbria - and geographically a Dale at the head of the upper Eden Valley. Boundaries and divisions Cumbria is neighboured by Northumberland, County Durham, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the Lieutenancy 
Outside the UK and Ireland, the threat from the eastern grey squirrel comes from a population in Piedmont, Italy, where two pairs escaped from captivity in 1948. Piedmont ( Piemonte; Piedmontese and Occitan: Piemont; French: Piémont) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest A significant drop in red squirrel populations in the area has been observed since 1970, and it is feared that the eastern grey squirrel may expand into the rest of Europe.
The eastern grey squirrel population appears to be able to out-compete the red squirrel for various reasons:
It is worth noting that the eastern grey squirrel and the red squirrel are not directly antagonistic towards each other, and direct violent conflict between these species is not a factor in the decline in red squirrel populations.
Research undertaken in 2007 in the UK credits the Pine Marten with reducing the population of the invasive eastern grey squirrel in the UK. Where the range of the expanding Pine Marten population meets that of the eastern grey squirrel, the population of these squirrels retreats. It is theorised that because the grey squirrel spends more time on the ground than the red, that they are far more likely to come in contact with this predator. 
In Norse mythology, Ratatosk is a red squirrel who runs up and down with messages in the world tree, Yggdrasill, and spreads gossip. Norse mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and Legends of the Scandinavian peoples including those who settled on Iceland In Norse mythology, Ratatoskr ( drilling tooth, sometimes anglicized Ratatosk) is a Red squirrel who runs up and down with messages in the In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil ( Old Norse Yggdrasill, ˈyɡˌdrasilː the extra -l is a Nominative case marker is the World In particular, he ferried insults between the eagle Veðrfölnir at the top of Yggdrasill and the dragon Níðhöggr beneath its roots. In Norse mythology, Veðrfölnir ("the one bleached by the weather" or Veðrlaufnir is the name of a hawk sitting between the eyes of an eagle in the crown In Norse mythology, Níðhöggr ( Malice Striker, often anglicized Nidhogg) is a dragon who eats the roots of the World Tree
The red squirrel used to be widely hunted for its pelt. In Finland squirrel pelts were used as currency in ancient times, before the introduction of coinage. Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. The expression "squirrel pelt" is still widely understood there to be a reference to money.
On the island of Anglesey, red squirrel conservation forms part of a broader socio-economic project managed by Menter Mon. An island-wide cull of grey squirrels has entered the final stage, and the red squirrel is now being reintroduced across the full spectrum of habitats within which it was once found. Some of the released animals can be watched via a live-feed webcam. 
There have been over 40 described subspecies of the red squirrel, but the taxonomic status of some of these is uncertain. In Zoology, as in other branches of Biology, subspecies is the Taxonomic rank immediately subordinate to a Species. A study published in 1971 recognises 16 subspecies and has served as a basis for subsequent taxonomic work.