The red squirrel's range spans northern Europe to Asia, but it is considered endangered in the United Kingdom. The main problem is that the Eastern gray squirrel, introduced from North America, has spread across most of the United Kingdom. Gray squirrels normally outcompete the reds, and they carry a deadly virus called squirrelpox, which quickly kills red squirrels. Yet the tide may be turning. The Isle of Anglesey is now free of grays, thanks to an eradication project that took 18 years.
At this very moment, squirrels throughout the northern hemisphere are busy getting fat and fluffy for the winter. But these industrious animals do more than gorge themselves. Their social structures, memories, and critical thinking skills are complex, yet seeing a squirrel in action often requires little more than stepping into a public park or backyard. That's because squirrels are found in nearly every habitable region of the world, except Australia. There are 287 different species.
Mug shot: A biologist caught this male red squirrel in the act of killing a young squirrel pup. Death takes many forms for the red squirrels of the Yukon: Birds of prey strike from above while silent lynx stalk the snows below. In a study published this week in The Scientific Naturalist, researchers report that North American red squirrel pups often fall victim to attacks from nearby males. Sometimes these murderous males also eat the youngsters they kill. Jessica Haines of the University of Alberta witnessed some of these aggressions, called infanticide, as part of the Kluane Red Squirrel Project near Kluane Lake in Canada's Yukon Territory.
A group of conservation charities is launching its biggest ever recruitment drive for volunteers to help protect the native red squirrel. A total of 5,000 squirrel-watchers are required across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Volunteers will help protect resident squirrel populations. Researchers say the species remains under threat because of disease and competition for food from larger grey squirrels, from north America. This army of volunteers led by the Wildlife Trusts will focus on nine "red squirrel strongholds".
"Don't you ever say I just walked away. I will always want you" -- this squirrel to this bird feeder, probably. For those not in the bird feeding game, there is a type of motorized, weight-activated bird feeder called the Yankee Flipper, which spins interloping squirrels around in the circle until they lose their grip on its base. It is -- but Yankee Flipper videos are all over YouTube. SEE ALSO: Sharks apparently don't mind jazz music But there's never been a Yankee Flipper video quite like this one from YouTuber user Lindsey Jackson.