Red Squirrel Sightings
Forest Service Red Squirrel Preferred Areas.
As there are currently no 'magic bullet' solutions to erradicate grey squirrels and resources for a wide spread cull are not available the NISF considers that the best compromise is to protect red squirrels in certain forests.
In 2010 the NISF identified 6 areas of Forest Service owned land that contained viable populations of red squirrels and that was either defenable from grey squirrel ingress or any existing populations of grey squirrels were small and could be removed. These areas were termed Red Squirrel Preferred Areas. It has been agreed that resources should be targeted within these zones although the NISF welcomes any grey squirrel control out with these areas.
The map below indicates the location of these areas in blue and they are referred to as Forest Service Red Squirrel Preferred Areas (FSRSQPA).
Squirrel sighting data
Squirrel Distribution data for Northern Ireland is largely limited to two major peices of research work, DE Tangney's 1995 Queens University of Belfast PhD research and the Irish Squirrel Survey by Michael Carey et al (2007). The NISF has continued to collect and map squirrel sighting records.
The All Ireland Squirrel Survey is being repeated in 2012/13 and we will be collating the Northern Ireland data.
You can help us keep our squirrel records up to date by marking you own squirrel sightings on our interactive map. Remember that records of grey squirrels are just as useful as records of red squirrels. We are also gathering data on pine marten distribution across Northern Ireland.
Our sighting page is hosted by the National Museums Northern Ireland - Centre for Environmental Data and Recording - CEDaR.
So clicking this link below will take you away from our website to the CEDaR site, but dont worry there is a link that will return you back to our pages from that site.
Link to the Squirrel Sightings Recording Form
If you have any sightings of sick red squirrels please let us via email as well marking them on the map: Squirrels@doeni.gov.uk
The black crosses are grey squirrels, the orange circles are red squirrels from the 2007 All Ireland Survey. The black stars are grey squirrels and the red stars are red squirrels which are more recent reports gathered by the NISF. The Irish Squirrel Survey data has been kindly reproduced from Irish Squirrel Survey by Michael Carey et al (2007). View the original report at the COFORD Council for Forest Research and Development website.