JSPCA Red Squirrel Disease Surveillance Scheme

Jersey red squirrel study

The JSPCA are very pleased to announce the publication of a paper on the health of Jersey’s red squirrel population in a professional veterinary journal, The Veterinary Record.

https://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/183/16/503.full

This report is the culmination of 7 years of research carried out by former JSPCA Veterinary Surgeon Tiffany Blackett on deceased squirrels that came into the JSPCA during this period.  The work was partly funded by grants from the Jersey Ecology Trust Fund, the Jersey Countryside Enhancement Scheme, Howard David Farm Trust and donations from kind benefactors.

This important work aimed to establish the cause of death and incidence of specific diseases in a total of 337 dead squirrels.

The results showed that 50.7% of squirrels examined post-mortem died as a result of road traffic injuries, 34.4% died from disease, 6.5% from trauma such as that associated with falls or entrapment, 7.1% died as a result of being attacked (by cats, dogs and birds including crows and magpies) and 1.2% died from suspected poisoning.

Tiffany’s work also highlighted that in the Jersey red squirrels that were examined in this study, there was no identification of the presence of squirrelpox virus.  Squirrelpox virus is carried by the larger, non-native grey squirrels found in the UK and is usually fatal in reds.  The most common disease processes identified in this study were a parasitic infection caused by a nematode worm that affects the liver, amyloidosis (abnormal protein deposits that build up in various organs and tissues) and a condition called Fatal Exudative Dermatitis (a bacterial infection).

Whilst it is estimated that there are currently only about 500 red squirrels on the island, a separate study in 2013 showed that in-breeding in the Jersey squirrels was not associated with the incidence of general disease or cases of amyloidosis.

The JSPCA is proud to have supported this study and continues to assist this vital, on-going research into the health of our island red squirrel population.

You can help by please reporting any sightings of dead squirrels to the JSPCA Animals’ Shelter, and if you see a sick or injured red squirrel, please contact the JSPCA Animals’ Shelter.

Click here for the full report JSPCA Red Squirrel information Aug 2018

 

 

Jersey Trees for Life have started to fundraise for “Squirrel Bridges” to be placed around the island and make sure that squirrels have a safer way to travel.

More information can be found on their website https://jerseytreesforlife.org/ or by calling 01534 857611

 

 

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A huge thank you to all the supporters on Jersey's Cat Community page for raising £1,500 through their recent squares raffle.

The list of prizes was endless! Well done everyone and to Chris Jackson for organising the fundraiser.

6 days to go! Who has signed up for the 5k #saveourshelter run?

This is going to be a great event and we would love to see as many people as possible.

https://t.co/hYKIR50WaT

6 days to go! Who has signed up for the 5k #saveourshelter run?

This is going to be a great event and we would love to see as many people as possible.

https://t.co/eZTa0UfMkj

Can you believe that Chelsea is still searching for her new home? Please help us find her a wonderful new family before the end of 2018.

It's so sad and you would be making such a difference by adopting a rescue cat.

Release footage of a female Kestrel in our care in Nov 2018 - showing she made a full recovery!

Well done teams for all your hard work.

Please help us continue our work for many years to come - https://t.co/gWI4R0XvFb

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JSPCA Red Squirrel Disease Surveillance Scheme
JSPCA Red Squirrel Disease Surveillance Scheme