Red Squirrel Garden Survey: spring 2021

Red Squirrel Garden Survey: spring 2021

Peter Cairns/2020VISION

In March we conducted a Red Squirrel Garden Survey to see gather more public data on the distribution of red and grey squirrels in the North Merseyside and West Lancashire stronghold. Here's what we found.

The Red Squirrel Garden Survey was conducted from 7 - 28 March 2021. 35 households took part and spent one hour monitoring their gardens and recording the squirrels they saw.

This is the first year the survey has been conducted and the data will be combined with data from public sightings, our Red Squirrel Officer and volunteers to map the distribution of red and grey squirrels in the North Merseyside and West Lancashire stronghold for our bi-annual monitoring report.

The results of Lancashire Wildlife Trusts 2021 Red Squirrel Garden Survey

Spring 2021 Red Squirrel Garden Survey results in the North Merseyside and West Lancashire red squirrel stronghold. The map shows the survey location and the species recorded. Credit: Google Maps.

How many red and grey squirrels were recorded in the Lancashire Wildlife Trust 2021 Red Squirrel Garden Survey?
  • 27 households recorded red squirrels, with 56 red squirrels recorded in total.
  • Six households recorded grey squirrels, with nine grey squirrels recorded in total.
  • Two households did not observe any squirrels in the survey period.
  • No households observed both species during the survey period.

How clean are your feeders?

It is important to keep red squirrel feeders clean to prevent the spread of disease – including squirrel pox. Regularly discard old food and clean feeders with a pet/animal-safe disinfectant.

If both red and grey squirrels visit your garden, remove feeders completely to reduce the risk of spreading disease from greys to reds.

Grey squirrels: trap loan scheme

Greys squirrels currently pose the biggest threat to red squirrel populations. To be most effective for red squirrel conservation, we need to control grey squirrels in both woodlands and urban areas. We work with the Red Alert Group to run a free trap loan scheme to provide traps to residents to help in the effort to prevent the spread of grey squirrels in the area. A volunteer will provide participants with a live-capture trap and provide information on how to set and monitor the trap. Any captured grey squirrels will be collected and humanely dispatched by a trained volunteer.

If you live in Sefton or West Lancashire, have grey squirrels visiting your garden and would like to participate in the scheme, please email: red.squirrel@lancswt.org.uk

Thank you!

We'd like to thank everyone who took part in our first Red Squirrel Garden Survey! Monitoring red and grey squirrel populations is essential for red squirrel conservation efforts, and with gardens being largely under recorded, your data will help us to improve this and fill in the gaps!

There will be another Red Squirrel Garden Survey in autumn. Follow our Red Squirrel Project on Facebook to be the first to hear about it.

In the meantime, you can continue to report your sightings of red and grey squirrels through the form on our website.

Report a squirrel sighting