Habitat & distribution

Red squirrels can live in both coniferous and deciduous woodland and are widely distributed across Europe and northern Asia


Learn how to search for squirrel
feeding signs


 Dreys are built high in trees

What is the red squirrel's preferred habitat?

Due to their wide-ranging diet, red squirrels are able to live in a range of different forest habitats. They are found in both coniferous and deciduous (broadleaved) woodlands. The seeds of trees make up a large part of their diet and an ideal habitat will have a variety different tree species, so that if one species has a poor seed year, there are other food sources available. 

Squirrels sleep in dreys. These are built out of sticks, high in trees out of reach of predators, and are lined with moss, leaves and wool. A squirrel will have 3 or 4 dreys which it uses on a regular basis and a bigger breeding drey in which it will give birth and raise young.


Where is the red squirrel found?

Red squirrels are found across much of Europe and northern Asia. Globally there are thought to be around ? red squirrels, and within the UK approximately 121,000. Their UK range and numbers have undergone a huge decline in the last century, due to habitat loss and the introduction of the non-native grey squirrel, which is able to out-competes them and carries squirrel pox, a disease to which they are resistant but which is fatal to reds. Grey squirrels are able to digest the tannins found in broadleaved seeds such as acorns earlier in the year, meaning that they can clear a crop before red squirrels are able to get to it. Due to this, red squirrels are now mainly restricted to coniferous forests in the UK. As they are lighter than greys, they can reach small cones at the end of branches that are unavailable to greys, and so manage to co-exist with  greys…? 




The red squirrel is found in all these countries! 

Albania; Armenia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; China; Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Korea; Latvia; Kyrgyzstan; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia; Mongolia; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russia; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; Ukraine and the UK. 



Learn about red squirrel diet

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