Our focus is on monitoring red squirrels on the Isle of Wight without using intrusive methods. Red squirrels are sensitive and can die of stress when caught or handled.
Most research data comes from you, the general public – this is called ‘citizen science’ and is extremely valuable to our research, although of course trail cameras, hairtubes and woodland surveyors walking a transect is the ideal way to go about it! Volunteers?
Read published papers...
We also take in sick, injured or baby squirrels for rehabilitation and then release them. Please phone us if you catch one, and we can arrange to collect it.
Isle of Wight home owners with gardens, and land owners with woodland areas are being invited to participate in a significant project to map the habitat of the Isle of Wight’s iconic red squirrel.
It's easy for you to help (and give yourselves something fun to do at this tricky time). We have two printable survey forms for you to download, as well as an identification guide:
It is with regret that we must inform our supporters that we have taken the decision to temporarily close our private hide to comply with Covid-19 guidelines.
New Friends of the Red Squrrel cards will be issued with a full 12 months to run from the date we can re-open.
Stay safe and well. Helen
Our delightful new range of greetings cards is now available online!
They feature artwork by the talented winners of our National Red Squirrel Awareness Week competition.
The cards cost £5 for a pack with four of the same card.
The Wight Squirrel Project receives a good commission from all sales, so help us support red squirrels on the IOW and follow this link to order your cards:
Wight Squirrel Project Bulletin
As we will not see you at the usual shows this year, there will be a monthly bulletin pasted on this page and on our Facebook page. If it is popular I will keep it going and produce a hard copy newletter once a year.
Leprosy was first diagnosed in red squirrels on the Isle of Wight in 2015. Visual signs to look for are unusual ear and skin lesions.
If you see an infected, or dead squirrel, please report it to us as soon as possible.
Ear samples were collected during routine post-mortem examinations on 92 squirrels found dead from all around the Island.
A paper is due to be published by Bournemouth University on island red squirrels. Wight Squirrel Project provided the DNA for the IOW from samples left from the leprosy studies done last year.
Once this is finished, further genetic research is planned just for the Isle of Wight reds, again using the DNA Helen brought back from the leprosy study.
The samples were collected from dead squirrels Helen had for post mortem examinations from across the whole Island. This way no squirrels were stressed by capture and handling. Plus it's much cheaper to collect tissue this way!
The easiest and most efficient way to offer financial help is to become a Friend of the Red Squirrel and set up a standing order with a donation.
We also need volunteers to help us with walks, events and delivering newsletters. Please contact us if you can help.
Feeding red squirrels helps their survival and provides hours of entertainment for you.
They need a variety of food, not just peanuts. Hazelnuts, filberts, pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut and fruit will provide a varied and healthier diet. NEVER feed brazil nuts or fatballs!
Peak activity times are dawn and dusk all year. Squirrels react to sound and movement, so stand still and keep quiet.
Where gardens back onto woods, squirrels are often fed and can be spotted as they travel to and from the garden.