gaz28's picture

Grey squirrel population seems to have dropped suddenly

I am writing this to see if anyone else has experienced the same, but for the last 2 months i have noticed a lack of any sign of them at all. I am a woodman so its not like i have not had the chance to see them. And it seemed to start just before the snow and still no sign of them. I know they sleep in when cold but this is more than that, i have spoken to people from other estates locally and seem to notice the same thing. Does anyone have a reason for why this may have been? I doubt its disease as no sign of ill or dead squirrels. so wondered if predators may have been cause? as well as wondering if this is something wide spread or just this area?



Becky123's picture

Drop in grey squirrel numbers

I live surrounded by woodland in the blackdown hills, somerset. Squirrels have always been abundant. I have not seen a grey now for three months. Ordinarily they become very active in the early part of the year as they pair up - but nothing. I walk daily through mixed beech woodland, and have never noticed an absence like this. I am unaware of anyone trapping in the vicinity - I live beside 25 acres of private woodland which is certainly free from trapping. It is really very peculiar - even the dogs haven't picked up a scent and tracked the scent to a tree. Anyone else noticed an absence?
I have never experienced this before - on previous walks was normal to see at least one or two squirrels.
No dead squirrel carcasses.
Any ideas?

gaz28's picture


I have noticed a return recently of quite a few of them, i guess just staying in because of harder winter than we've had for a while.


Craig Shuttleworth's picture

Grey squirrel numbers

We have noticed a similar pattern this winter too. In North Wales those grey squirrels that we have caught this year have generally had no fat reserves, and in some cases show muscle loss and poor condition. The red squirrels are late breeding with few weaned young to date and high numbers of pregnant animals in May. There are also nationwide reports (with photos) of red squirrels with quite pronounced hair loss on the back and neck area. There are photos on the 'Red Squirrels in Wales' Facebook Group page:

scubamann's picture


No change in either red or grey local populations of squirrels; None.
Isle of Man is a squirrel-free zone (for better or worse).