Take part in our Garden/ School Squirrel Survey
The Council with the assistance of the Killiney Hill Red Squirrel Group wish to monitor squirrels in the areas surrounding the park. Residents and schools in the area between Dalkey, Killiney and Ballybrack Village can contribute to the project by taking part in our Garden/ School Squirrel Survey which would involve regular monitoring of squirrels during 3 survey periods (Jan/ Feb, May/ June and Oct/ Nov).
This data will supplement survey work being undertaken by members of the Killiney Hill Red Squirrel Group in local parks and green spaces. A map showing the core area of interest for garden/ school surveys is included with the survey instructions.
Squirrels in Ireland
There are two species of squirrel in Ireland, the red squirrel and the grey squirrel. The red squirrel is native but is undergoing a steady decline across the country. This is largely due to competition from the introduced grey squirrel, which came to Ireland from North America in 1911. This pattern has been observed over much of Dublin and red squirrels are now confined to just a few locations. The presence of the grey squirrel is a continuous threat to their survival.
Squirrels in your local area
The remaining red squirrel populations in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown are confined to just two areas. A small population remains in Killiney Hill Park and a larger population persists in coniferous plantations in the Dublin Mountains (including Carrickgollogan, Barnaslingan, Balledmonduff, Ticknock, Kilmashogue and Tibradden).
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is working in partnership with Coillte, NPWS, Dublin Mountains Partnership and public and private landowners in the surrounding areas to conserve the remaining red squirrel populations.
The Killiney area is one of the last two urban areas in Dublin where our native red squirrels remain (the other being Howth). The latest survey suggests that there are only a few red squirrels left in Killiney. Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council in partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service have launched a project to help boost the local red squirrel population. As part of the project, Red Squirrels are to be released on Killiney Hill during August/ September 2012 to supplement the existing population and hopefully allow red squirrels to expand their range to areas outside the park.
DLRCC commissioned detailed surveys on the distribution of red and grey squirrels in the Dublin Mountains between 2010 and 2012, which has highlighted the importance of the private and public coniferous plantations for the survival the red squirrel population in this area. DLRCC are working in partnership with Coillte to review the long-term management proposals for these woodlands to ensure that the management is compatible with the conservation requirements of the red squirrels.
How to recognise Red and Grey Squirrels
Body colour: Red in summer may have some grey in winter
Ears: Prominent ear tufts during autumn and winter
Tail: Red, red with black tinges (occasionally white)
Body Colour: Grey with some reddish brown on back side and paws
Ears: Mouse like-no ear tufts
Tail: Brown & Black with white fringe.