Thanks to funding by the Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) Animals’ Shelter with assistance from the States of Jersey Department of the Environment, a genetic study into the origin of Red Squirrels in Jersey was carried out by the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent. This study has concluded that Jersey’s Red Squirrels appear to be of a mixed origin from the South of England and France. As you would expect the split is French in the east and English in the West with “entente cordiale” in the centre of the Island.
In addition the study also confirmed that the population does not appear to be severely inbred and Squirrel numbers have been increasing as the availability of their food supply increases, this is down to a combination of factors including; post occupation trees coming to maturity after some 60 -70 years of growth and the level of human interaction via the provision of food from bird and squirrel feeders.
The study will be ongoing; therefore members of the public are encouraged to keep bringing any dead squirrels found to the JSPCA at 89 St Saviours Road. The aim is to carry out additional histopathology work and population density studies as soon as funds allow. If you can help please contact the numbers below.
Everyone one should take care when driving, especially on the country roads and green lanes to avoid killing squirrels.