The project

The red squirrel is a small arboreal rodent, typical of forests and widespread in the forests of Europe. The species is in sharp decline in Britain, Ireland and north-west Italy due to the introduction of the American grey squirrel.

In Italy, the grey squirrel was introduced in Piedmont, Liguria and in different areas of Lombardy. The ongoing expansion of the species is causing the gradual extinction of the red squirrel, due to competition for food resources and areas of refuge.

The regional administrations concerned, together with a number of universities, have an ongoing project to protect the red squirrel and limit the spread of the grey squirrel in the rest of the country and continental Europe. The LIFE project EC-SQUARE, also named “Rossoscoiattolo” (Red Squirrel), is funded by the European Commission and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. The project also includes actions for the valorization of forest ecosystems by restoring conditions for permanence and, where possible, the reintroduction of the red squirrel.

In this section you will find explained the frame in which Red Squirrel has been drafted: the risk of extinction of the red squirrel, the competition with the grey squirrel, the directions of the Council of Europe, the actions envisaged in the project.