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Callosciurus erythraeus - Pallas's squirrel, Red-bellied tree squirrel

French name:  Ecureuil à ventre rouge
Dutch name: Pallas eekhoorn
Family: Sciuridae
Group: Mammals
Origin: Asia
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  pets and domestic animals
ISEIA Score : 11
Naturalization in Belgium
First observation in the wild: 2005
Invasion stage: naturalization
Spatial distribution: isolated
Reproduction in the wild: yes
Dispersion potential: high
Natural habitats: high
More on invasiveness: Pallas's squirrel lives in deciduous and conifer forests, parks and gardens, both in suburban and rural areas. In France, it is very abundant in the gardens at Cap d'Antibes. Its maximum dispersal distance is about 5 km/year.
Distribution in Belgium
Established populations
absent from district
isolated populations (1-5 localities per district)
widespread (>5 localities per district)

Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: likely
Competition: high
Disease transmission: likely
Genetic effects: unknown
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: low
Physical alteration: medium
Natural successions: unknown
Food web alteration: unknown
More on impacts: Pallas's squirrel may achieve high population densities (5-10 individuals/hectare). It has similar food habits as the native red squirrel and seems able to outcompete it. Pallas's squirrel has been observed eating bird eggs. It damages trees in forests, parks and gardens by bark stripping and may be the cause of substantial economic loss of profit in tree plantations.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, Licoppe Alain, Motte Grégory, Schockert Vinciane, Stuyck Jan
Published on:  23 March 2009
Last update:  11 December 2013
Bertolino, S & Genovesi, P. (2005)
The application of the European strategy on invasive alien species: an example with introduced squirrels.
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. (n.s.) 16 (1): 59-69
Bertolino, S. (2009)
Animal trade and non-indigenous species introduction: the world-wide spread of squirrels.
Diversity and Distributions 15(4): 701–708.
Bertolino, S. & Lurz, P.W.W. (2012)
Callosciurus squirrels: worldwide introductions, ecological impacts and recommendations to prevent the establishment of new invasive populations.
Mammal Review, in press.
Chapuis, J.L. & Marmet, J. (2006)
Ecureuils d'Europe occidentale: fiches descriptives.
Museum d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.
Dijkstra, V. & Dekker, J. (2008)
Risico-assessment uitheemse eekhoorns.
Rapport van de Zoogdiervereniging VZZ in opdracht van Commissie Invasieve Exoten.
Dozières, A., Pisanu, B., Gerriet, O., Lapeyre, C., Stuyck, J. & Chapuis, J.-L. (2010)
Macroparasites of Pallas's squirrels (Callosciurus erythraeus) introduced into Europe.
Veterinary Parasitology 172 (1-2): 172-176.
Guichon, M.L. & Doncaster, C.P. (2008)
Invasion dynamics of an introduced squirrel in Argentina.
Ecography 31(2): 211-220.
Guichón, M.L., Bello M. & Fasola, L. (2005)
Expansión poblacional de una especie introducida en la Argentina: la ardilla de vientre rojo Callosciurus erythraeus.
Mastozoología Neotropical 12(2): 189-197.
Kumschick, S., Alba, C., Hufbauer, R.A. & Nentwig, W. (2011)
Weak or strong invaders? A comparison of impact between the native and invaded ranges of mammals and birds alien to Europe.
Diversity and Distributions 17: 663–672.
Mazzamuto, M.V., Bisi, F., Wauters, L.A., Preatoni D.G. & Martinoli, A. (2017)
Interspecific competition between alien Pallas’s squirrels and Eurasian red squirrels reduces density of the native species.
Biological Invasions 19: 723-735.
Mitchell-Jones, A. J., Amori, G., Bogdanowicz, W., Kryštufek, B., Reijnders, P. J. H., Spitzenberger, F., Stubbe, M., Thissen, J. B. M., Vohralík, V. & Zima, J. (1999)
The Atlas of European Mammals.
Poyser, London.
Nentwig, W., Kuhnel, E. & Bacher, S. (2009)
A Generic Impact-Scoring System Applied to Alien Mammals in Europe.
Conservation Biology 24(1): 302–311.
Palmer, G.H., Koprowski, J.L. & Pernas, T. (2007)
Tree squirrels as invasive species: conservation an management implications.
In: G.W. Witmer et al (eds), Managing vertebrate invasive species: proceedings of an international symposium. USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA.
Pascal, M., Lorvelec, OL, Vigne J.D., Keith, P. & Clergeau, P. (2003)
Evolution holocène de la faune de vertébrés de France: invasions et extinctions.
Setoguchi, M. (1990)
Food habits of red-bellied tree squirrels on a small island in Japan.
Journal of Mammalogy 71: 570-578.
Stuyck, J., Baert, K., Breyne, P. & Adriaens, T. (2009)
Invasion history and control of a Pallas squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus population in Dadizele, Belgium.
Proceedings of the Science facing Aliens conference, Brussels, 11th May 2009.
Tillon, L., Joicey, J. & Chapuis, J.L. (2007)
Les écureuils introduits en France et en Europe occidentale.
In 13ème Forum des gestionnaires: espèces exotiques envahissantes, une menace majeure pour la biodiversité.
UNEP-WCMC (2010)
Review of Callosciurus erythraeus and Sciurus niger.
UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge.

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