DLR Red Squirrel Restoration Project 2023 - 2030

There is nothing quite like watching red squirrel dash about through the canopy and jump from tree to tree. Unfortunately, this is not a common sight anymore in Killiney Hill as they have faced many challenges. The loss and degradation of suitable habitat especially the woodland areas due to increasing visitor pressures, along with competition and disease from the introduction of their non-native grey cousin, have led to their severe decline in Killiney Hill. The decline has been noted by the specialists monitoring the red squirrel population at Killiney Hill.

DLR have been working for many years to try to conserve this species and, in consultation with NPWS aim to restore the red squirrel habitats on Killiney Hill to help this species survive as they are the only remaining population in Dublin.

In order to restore some areas for the red squirrel there will be fencing erected along the red squirrel main habitat to allow recovery of their habitat and to also plant some native species to assist recovery. We hope that the public will understand and assist by allowing these areas to recover. 

The habitat recovery will be monitored by ecologists and the red squirrel population will continue to be monitored by the mammal specialists.

Any recommendations proposed by the ecologists/specialists will be undertaken. Changes to fencing of areas may occur over the course of the project in response to the advice.

The following steps are involved in helping our red squirrels:

  • Review of the red squirrel monitoring results
  • Baseline habitat survey of Killiney Hill including the important areas for red squirrel
  • Baseline species surveys of Killiney Hill including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians etc
  • Delineation of areas for fencing to allow recovery of ground vegetation and restoration of habitats important for red squirrel
  • Fencing of areas to allow the restoration
  • Signage and raising awareness about the restoration project
  • Presence of red squirrel warden on the hill at busy times
  • Continue best practice grey squirrel management
  • Development of an Overall Habitat and Species Management Plan for Killiney and Roches Hill

The red squirrel is an iconic species of Killiney Hill Park and is a protected species under Irish Law. Red squirrels are one of our favourite native woodland animals. We've launched a new red squirrel restoration project to ensure that red squirrel conservation is a priority locally in the long term, and to identify the key actions needed to secure their future.

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