Red Squirrel, Fauna in Co. Mayo

The Red Squirrel is an omnivorous rodent who lives on trees. It is long from 19 to 23 cm, while it has a tail's length of 15 to 20 cm.

The long tail permits the red squirrel to balance, to jump from tree to tree, to run along the branches and to keep its body warm during sleep.

The colour of their coats vary from black to red, but in Ireland red coats are most common. In other parts of Europe and Asia different coat colours co-exist. The underside is white-cream.

It has sharp, curved claws to enable it to move on tree trunks. The red squirrel also can swim.

This little animal lives in woodland and makes a nest in branch-fork lined with moss, leaves and grass.

It eats seeds, nuts (hazelnuts and chestnuts), berries and tender shoots.

It can be seen in the morning and in the late afternoon.

Its scientific name is Sciurus vulgaris, while the Irish name is Lora rua.

Did you know?
Population of Red Squirrel in Ireland has declined and that is due to the spread of the introduced Grey Squirrel from North America, another squirrel species bigger, more healthy and better competitive for feeding strategy. In Mayo it can be seen mainly near the border with County Galway.