Red squirrel

Red squirrel

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Credit: SIMON FRASER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) feeding. The red squirrel is Britain's only native squirrel. It is widely distributed throughout Europe. In Britain it has been in decline for the last 100 years and the UK population is estimated to be about 160,000 with the majority in Scotland. This decline is mainly due to the introduction of the grey squirrel (Sciurius carolinensis) from North America in 1876. Competition and the spread of a virus by the grey squirrel has led to its dominance. In England, the red squirrel is currently outnumbered by the grey squirrel by about 66:1. If the current rate of decline continues the red squirrel is expected to be extinct in the UK in 20-30 years. Photographed in Northumberland National Park, UK.

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Keywords: animal, britain, british, eating, endangered, england, face, fauna, feeding, head, mammal, native species, nature, northumberland national park, protected, rare, red squirrel, rodent, sciurus vulgaris, uk, united kingdom, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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