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© John Carr
Sciurus carolinensis - Grey squirrel

French name:  Ecureuil gris
Dutch name: Grijze eekhoorn
Family: Sciuridae
Group: Mammals
Origin: North America
Habitat: terrestrial
Introduction:  pets and domestic animals
ISEIA Score : 11
This species is not yet naturalised in Belgium.
Establishment potential in Belgium : high
It is already invasive in : Ireland, Italy, United Kingdom
Reproduction in the wild: no
Dispersion potential: high
Natural habitats: high
More on naturalization and invasiveness: Natural and planted forests, parks, shrublands, etc.
Impacts on Species
Predation / Herbivory: medium
Competition: high
Disease transmission: high
Genetic effects: low
Impacts on Ecosystems
Nutrient cycling: low
Physical alteration: medium
Natural successions: low
Food web alteration: likely
More on impacts: In Great Britain, Ireland, and Italy, the grey squirrel causes the progressive disappearance of the native red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) through competitive exclusion. Species replacement is favoured by the transmission of a parapoxvirus lethal to the red squirrel. The grey squirrel can also damage woodlands through bark stripping activity. It has to be noted that this species is included in the appendix to the recommendation no 77 of the Council of Europe as a species which has proved to be a threat to biological diversity and for which eradication is strongly recommended.
Data Source & References
Authors: Branquart Etienne, D'aes Margo, Manet Benoît, Motte Grégory, Schockert Vinciane, Stuyck Jan
Published on:  29 June 2007
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. & Genovesi, P. (2003)
Spread and attempted eradication of the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy, and consequences for the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) in Eurasia.
Biological conservation 109: 351-358.
Bertolino, S., Lurz, P.W.W. & Rushton, S.P (2006)
Prediction of the grey squirrel spread from Italy into adjacent countries.
Report from Facolta di Agria, University of Newcastel, 69 pp.
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.
Gurnell, J., Wauters, L.A., Lurz, P.W. W. & Tosi, G. (2004)
Alien species and interspecific competition: effects of introduced eastern grey squirrels on red squirrel population dynamics.
Journal of Animal Ecology 73: 26-35.
Huxley, L. (2003)
The grey squirrel review: profile of an invasive alien species.
ESI Dorset, 104pp.
ISSG (Invasive Species Specialist Group) (2006)
Online fact sheets
Global Invasive Species Database, IUCN.
Libois, R. (2006)
Les mammifères non volants de la région wallonne : tendances des populations.
Dossier scientifique réalisé dans le cadre de l'élaboration du Rapport analytique 2006 sur l'Etat de l'Environnement wallon, Unité de Recherches zoogéographiques, Université de Liège, 127 pp.
Lurz, P.W.W., Rushton, S.P., Wauters, L.A., Bertolino, S., Currado, I., Mazzoglio, P. & Shirley, M.D.F. (2001)
Predicting grey squirrel expansion in North Italy: a spatially explicit modelling approach.
Landscape Ecology 16: 407-420.
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.
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.
Rushton, S.P., Lurz, P.W.W., Gurnell, J., Nettleton, P., Bruemmer, C., Shirley, M.D.F. & Sainsbury, A.W. (2006)
Disease threats posed by alien species: the role of a poxvirus in the decline of the native red squirrel in Britain.
Epidemiol. Infect. 134: 521–533.
Sainsbury, A.W., Deaville, R., Lawson, B., Cooley, W.A., Farelly, S.S.J., Stack, M.J., Duff, P., McInnes, C.J., Gurnell, J. & Russell, P.H. (2008)
Poxviral Disease in Red Squirrels Sciurus vulgaris in the UK: Spatial and Temporal Trends of an Emerging Threat.
EcoHealth 5(3): 305-316.
Tompkins, D., Sainsbury, A.W., Netteleton, P., Buxton, D. & Gurnell. J. (2002)
Parapoxvirus causes a deleterious disease of red squirrels associated with UK population declines.
Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 269: 529–533.
Tompkins, D.M., White, A.R. & Boots, M. (2003)
Ecological replacement of native red squirrels by invasive greys driven by disease.
Ecology Letters 6(3): 189–196.
Verbeylen, G. (2003)
Beverrat, Noord-Amerikaanse grijze eekhoorn, Aziatische grondeekhoorn.
In: S. Verkem et al. (eds), Zoogdieren in Vlaanderen, Natuurpunt Studie & JNM-Zoogdierenwerkgroep.
Wood, D.J.A., Koprowski, J.L. & Lurz, P.W.W. (2007)
Tree Squirrel Introduction: A Theoretical Approach with Population Viability Analysis.
Journal of Mammalogy 88(5): 1271-1279.

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