In this activity children collect data about the distribution of black squirrels and record it on a map with the date of the sighting.
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.
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.
- that there are different species of squirrel
- that different species of squirrels differ in size
Children will learn:
- that black squirrels have been seen in the UK
- to follow simple instructions and compare their prediction with what actually happened
These resources were initially developed in partnership with the Centre for Science Education, Sheffield Hallam University.