Red squirrel eating a nut (c) Peter Trimming

Red squirrel

Instantly recognisable by their red fur, ear tufts and long, fluffy tails, red squirrels were once the only squirrel species in Europe. This changed when grey squirrels were introduced from America to the UK in the late 1800s. Though reds are still plentiful across Europe and northern Asia, they've been out-competed by the canny greys. Red squirrels spend most of their time in the treetops and maintain several dreys within their range to aid escape from predators. Daily activity centres around obtaining food, mostly seeds and acorns which, with practice, they can open in just a few seconds.

Scientific name: Sciurus vulgaris

Rank: Species

Common names:

Eurasian red squirrel

Watch video clips from past programmes (12 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

View all 12 video clips

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Red squirrel taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Red squirrel can be found in a number of locations including: Asia, China, Europe, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Red squirrel distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Behaviours

Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Sounds

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Garden wildlife Garden wildlife

    From badgers to butterflies and frogs to foxes, garden wildlife is both varied and surprising.

  • Wild autumn Wild autumn

    Autumn - a time of great change, of breathtaking migrations, of high drama.