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Individual study: The translocation and post release settlement of red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris to a previously uninhabited woodland

Published source details

Poole A. & Lawton C. (2009) The translocation and post release settlement of red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris to a previously uninhabited woodland. Biodiversity and Conservation, 18, 3205-3218


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals at a specific time (e.g. season, day/night) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2005–2007 in a mixed conifer forest in Galway, Ireland (Poole & Lawton 2009) found that red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris translocated in September and October had similar survival rates compared to squirrels translocated in December. The survival rate to the following May of red squirrels translocated in September and October (78%, 7/9 individuals) was not statistically different to that of squirrels released in December (50%, 5/10 individuals). In August 2006, seven juvenile squirrels were caught and at least one squirrel was still alive in the release location two years after the original release. Nineteen squirrels were translocated to a nature reserve (19 ha) in the middle of a 789-ha commercial pine plantation, 112 km from the capture site. Squirrels were kept for an average of 46 days in one of two pre-release enclosures (3.6 × 3.6 × 3.9 m high). Enclosures contained branches, platforms, nest boxes, and supplementary feeders. Food and nest boxes were also provided in the periphery of the release site. Nine squirrels were released in September or October 2005 and 10 in December 2005. Squirrels were radio-tracked in September and November 2005 and February and May 2006, and were trapped in February, May and August 2006 and observed once in October 2007.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2005–2007 in a mixed conifer forest in Galway, Ireland (Poole & Lawton 2009) found that over half of translocated red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris provided with nest boxes and supplementary food (in and once released from holding pens) survived over eight months after release and most females reproduced during that period. At least 10 out of 19 (53%) translocated squirrels survived over eight months post-release and five out of nine translocated females (56%) were lactating 5-7 months after release. In August 2006, seven juvenile squirrels were caught. At least one squirrel was still alive at the release location two years after the original release. Two squirrels died while in the release pen or shortly afterwards. Another four squirrels died 1-2 months after release. Nineteen squirrels were translocated to a nature reserve (19 ha) in the middle of a 789-ha commercial pine plantation, 112 km from the capture site. Individuals were marked, radio-tagged and kept on average for 46 days in one of two pre-release enclosures (3.6 × 3.6 × 3.9 m high). Enclosures contained branches, platforms, nest boxes, and supplementary feeders (containing nuts, maize, seeds and fruit). Supplementary food (50/50 peanut/maize mix) was provided in six feeders in the nature reserve until July 2006. Twenty nest boxes were also provided. Squirrels were radio-tracked in September and November 2005 and February and May 2006, and were trapped in February, May and August 2006 and observed once in October 2007.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Provide supplementary food during/after release of translocated mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2005–2007 in a mixed conifer forest in Galway, Ireland (Poole & Lawton 2009) found that over half of translocated red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris provided with supplementary food in holding pens (with nest boxes) and after release survived over eight months after release and most females reproduced during that period. At least 10 out of 19 (53%) translocated squirrels survived over eight months post-release and five out of nine translocated females (56%) were lactating 5-7 months after release. In August 2006, seven juvenile squirrels were caught. At least one squirrel was still alive in the release location two years after the original release. Two squirrels died while in the release pen or shortly afterwards. Another four squirrels died 1-2 months after release. Ten of 13 squirrels established home ranges which contained supplementary feeding stations. Nineteen squirrels were translocated to a nature reserve (19 ha) in the middle of a 789-ha commercial pine plantation, 112 km from the capture site. Individuals were marked, radio-tagged and kept on average for 46 days in one of two pre-release enclosures (3.6 × 3.6 × 3.9 m high). Enclosures contained branches, platforms, nest boxes, and supplementary feeders (containing nuts, maize, seeds and fruit). Supplementary food (50/50 peanut/maize mix) was provided in six feeders in the nature reserve until July 2006. Twenty nest boxes were also provided Squirrels were radio-tracked in September and November 2005 and February and May 2006, and were trapped in February, May and August 2006 and observed once in October 2007.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Use holding pens at release site prior to release of translocated mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 2005–2007 in a mixed conifer forest in Galway, Ireland (Poole & Lawton 2009) found that following release from holding pens (with nest boxes and supplementary food), over half of translocated red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris survived over eight months after release and most females reproduced during that period. At least 10 out of 19 (53%) translocated squirrels survived over eight months post-release and five out of nine translocated females (56%) were lactating five-seven months after release. In August 2006, seven juvenile squirrels were caught. At least one squirrel was still alive in the release location in two years after the original release. Two squirrels died while in the release pen or shortly afterwards. Another four squirrels died 1-2 months after release. Nineteen squirrels were translocated to a nature reserve (19 ha) in the middle of a 789-ha commercial pine plantation, 112 km from the capture site. Individuals were marked and radio-tagged. Squirrels were kept on average for 46 days in one of two pre-release enclosures (3.6 × 3.6 × 3.9 m high). Enclosures contained branches, platforms, nest boxes, and supplementary feeders (containing nuts, maize, seeds and fruit). Supplementary food (50/50 peanut/maize mix) was provided in six feeders in the nature reserve until July 2006. Twenty nest boxes were also provided Squirrels were radio-tracked in September and November 2005 and February and May 2006, and were trapped in February, May and August 2006 and observed once in October 2007.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)