Habitat associations of the red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris and grey squirrel S-carolinensis in Northern Ireland

D.O. Teangana, John Russ, R.G. Mathers, Ian Montgomery

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A survey of red and grey squirrel habitat associations in Northern Ireland was conducted between September 1994 and August 1995. Two hundred and sixty-one sites were visited and a list of habitat characteristics for each site was noted. Multiple discriminant function analysis of the habitat type was employed to group squirrel occurrence, while contingency analysis examined independence of habitat type and squirrel species presence. Habitat associations differed between the two species. One-way ANOVAs of habitat data suggested that sites occupied by red squirrels only were predominantly coniferous, at higher altitude and latitude and much larger in area than sites occupied by grey squirrels only, which were mostly deciduous. When both species were sympatric, sites were more likely to be coniferous and larger in area than sites occupied by either species. Grey squirrels were less frequent than expected in upland plantations and more frequent than expected in parkland and gardens; the opposite was true for red squirrels. The mean distance between sites with only red squirrels and the nearest site with grey squirrels was greater than the mean distance between sites with only grey squirrels and the nearest site with red squirrels. An approach to conserving the red squirrel in view of the continued expansion in the grey squirrel's distribution in Ireland is discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalBiology and Environment-Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy
Volume100B
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)

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