The influence of habitat and forest structure on red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris distribution in Jersey
To investigate Jersey’s local red squirrel population distribution in relationship to
forest parameters, I conducted field surveys in late autumn and collected field data in
three sites, namely: The Railway Walk, St. Peter’s Valley and Catherine’s Woods.
Ten 10m x 10m plots were selected at each site to quantify the relation between tree
species and richness with red squirrels density and distribution at plot level.
Statistical analysis showed that red squirrel density was highest at the Railway Walk
where Scots pine dominates, the lowest squirrel density is observed at Catherine’s
In order to explore the relationship between forest structural parameters and squirrel
feeding activity in Scots pine, forest measurements such as canopy cover, tree
height, and diameter at breast height were collected in the plots where Scots pine
were present. Using these parameters, we can predict striped cone biomass at each
site which enables us both to understand, and manage, forest characteristics to
increase their habitat suitability for squirrels. These results highlight the importance
of stand structure in managing and conserving red squirrels viability and habitat in