Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris),GLM

svulgaris-smRed squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) habitats change modelling in EEBIO Region in scope of the IMAGE climate change data: GLM-scenario by 2050

V.Prydatko, G.Kolomytsev, V.Makarenko

Sciurus vulgaris Linnaeus, 1758 red squirrel, eurasian red squirrel ardilla roja (spanish), ecureuil roux (french) vyvirka, vyvirka lisova (ukr). Red Squirrel is most abundant species in large tracts of coniferous forest and also occurs in deciduous woods, mixed forest, parks, gardens, and small stands of conifers. Its diet is mainly vegetarian, consisting of seeds, acorns, fungus, bark, and sapwood, although it occasionally takes animal prey (young birds and eggs). The main expected threats to this species in EEBIO (and GLOBIO Ukraine) region are habitat loss and fragmentation.

Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) – current and predicted distribution modelling

The map shows a difference: Red squirrel ‘current distribution’ contrary to ‘predicted distribution’ by the model (based on climatу change data i.e. GLM-scenario):

Simple comparison of basic ‘1980s’ and ‘1990s’ maps in GIS environment demonstrated probable changes of species areal. Official local statistics in Ukraine state that the trend looks stable. Based on our polynomial approximation test of 3th-degree (R2=0.97) we could argue that it would not be stable by 2050. GLM scenario shows that the species habitats have migrate to the northern areas (N) and partly to Crimea; finally, the areal will be smaller in GLOBIO Ukraine Region. See more with a summarized table on BioModel web-page.

Second (adjusted) model run shows that only 89,8% of red squirrel distribution area is expected to remain suitable in terms of climate requirements. Most territories of potential red squirrel disappearing caused by the climate change are supposed to be found in Ukraine.

The model is published with the assistance of ULRMC, funded by ‘Projection of Species- and Species-Climate Based Models on to the GLOBIO Ukraine Region, and Scenarios Development’ Project according to the Contract Е/555050/01/МО (2006) between The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP, Bilthoven) and International Association ‘Ukrainian Land and Resource Management Center’ (ULRMC, Kyiv).

Recent publication on Red squirrel distribution available here.


  1. BioDAT – prepared by A. Puzachenko at al., 1980s’ (Rus)
  2. Russia’s Game Mammals Monitoring (Rus). BioDAT Archives, 1990-2000.
  3. USSR Forest Atlas (1973)/Forest Game Birds and Animals (Rus), granted by the Vernadsky National Library (Kyiv). Vectorizated vesrsion by V.Prydatko, A.Ischuk and A.Kalynychenko (ULRMC). Kyiv: ULRMC, 2006. (On request)
  4. IUCN 2007. Sciurus vulgaris. In: IUCN 2007. European Mammal Assessment – downloaded on 11 May 2007.
  5. G.A. Kolomytsev. Assessing potential impact of forecasted climate change on distribution of red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) in Eastern Europe by 2050. Kyiv: 2012