Examining Interactions Between Red and Grey Squirrel Populations At The Invasion Front

Examining Interactions Between Red and Grey Squirrel Populations

Project Title: Examining interactions between red and grey squirrel populations at the invasion front.

Funding Body: IRCSET

Project Type: PhD

Period: Sept 2010-Sept 2013

Researcher: Emily Goldstein

Project Description 

Grey squirrels were introduced into Ireland in 1911 into Co. Longford. Since their release, grey squirrels have spread rapidly to the north, east and south. Red squirrels are unable to compete effectively with the grey squirrels for food resources. Once grey squirrels move into a woodland red squirrel populations tend to dwindle and disappear within a few squirrel generations. The most recent Irish squirrel survey (2007) showed that grey squirrels have advanced south from their introduction site in Longford to Limerick, South Tipperary and Waterford.

This project aims to accurately locate the current location of the invasion front of grey squirrels in Munster.  Populations at the invasion front will be examined with reference to other populations of red and grey squirrels in the country to see if the densities and breeding rates of the animals differ in these locations. A mathematical population model will be developed and used to predict the future spread of grey squirrels in Ireland.

Environmental Research Institute

University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork