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Searching for Squirrels

Topic: 2C Variation

The plight of the disappearing native British species, the red squirrel is being highlighted. However the culprit, the American grey squirrel, is itself being slowly overwhelmed in parts of the country by the little-known black squirrel.
There are two main types of squirrel in Britain; one ‘native' red (sciurus vulgaris) squirrel and the introduced grey (Sciurus carolinensis) squirrel. Each type has a black (melanic) variety and a white (albino) variety. The black and albino varieties of the ‘red' are mostly found in mainland Europe and are rare in Britain. However the black and albino variants of the ‘grey' squirrel are found in Britain.

In this activity children will collect data about the distribution of black squirrels and record it on a map with the date of the sighting. This data can be sent to the Government Forestry department to form part of a national survey.

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Click to Download Searching for Squirrels activity
Searching for Squirrels activity

Click to Download Searching for Squirrels teacher notes
Searching for Squirrels teacher notes

   

that there are different species of squirrel

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 1 successfully.

that different species of squirrels differ in size

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 1 successfully.

that black squirrels have been seen in the UK

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 3 successfully.

to follow simple instructions and compare their prediction with what actually happened

Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 3 successfully.

   
Web Links

BBC News
The original news story

Forestry Commission
Information about the red squirrel

The National Strategies
Website for Assessing Pupils' Progress (APP)

Daily Mail
Report of a woman feeding a black squirrel that is very friendly

Telegraph
Story about the origins of the black squirrel

YouTube
Squirrel obstacle course

Google Images
Images of baby squirrels

Forestry Commission
Black squirrel distribution map

BBC News
Albino squirrels

Google Maps
Zoom (scroll) right out and you can drag the map to see the whole world

BBC News
Story about how red squirrels may have developed immunity to squirrelpox

 
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