Irish Squirrel & Pine Marten Project - Irish Squirrel + Pine Marten Project
In October 2009, the Mammal Ecology Group of NUI, Galway, launched an exciting research project investigating the relationships between three woodland mammal species in Ireland; the native red squirrel, the pine marten and the introduced grey squirrel. The research project was carried out by Emma Sheehy under the supervision of Dr Colin Lawton and funded by the Irish Research Council.
In the most recent distribution survey carried out on the two species (Carey et al., 2007) it was noted that in certain midland counties (Laois/Offaly and Cavan/Monaghan) the grey squirrels had not replaced the red in the same manner as in other areas, and even that the red squirrel had extended its range. This coincided with a resurgence of the pine marten (Martes martes) in the two areas suggesting that the pine marten may be disrupting the usual pattern of displacement of red squirrels by greys. Alternatively it may just reflect habitat preferences of the species concerned.
Click into the Media Links to hear Emma chatting about her research.