The grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the mid-19th century. There is now an estimated population of over 2.5 million making them much more common than the native red squirrel.



Picture of a Grey SquirrelOrder: Rodentia

Family: Sciuridae

Species: Sciurus carolinensis

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Population Trend: increasing

Distribution: Native to North America. Introduced to Great Britain, Ireland and South Africa.

Habitat: Prefers mature deciduous woodland but also common in parks and gardens in towns and cities.

Description: Winter fur is dense and silvery grey with a brown tinge along the middle of the back. Summer fur is yellowish-brown. White underparts. Bushy, grey tail. Ears without tufts.

Size: Head and body about 25 - 30cm; tail about 20 - 25cm. Weight: 350-600g.

Life-span: Some live up to 10 years in the wild although most only manage 3-4 years.

Food: Hazelnuts, acorns, beech mast, tree bark, fungi, buds, leaves, shoots, flowers; will also raid birds' nests for eggs and young.

Population: The grey squirrel was introduced to Great Britain in the mid-19th century and after many releases it began to increase dramatically at the beginning of the 20th century, mainly spreading from Woburn Park, Bedfordshire.  They came to England from North America and are now one of Britain's most well-known and frequently seen mammals, with an estimated population of 2 million.  They are much more common than the native red squirrel, which has a population estimated at 120,000.

Read More: Daily Life

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