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Quiz about UK Wildlife  Squirrels
Quiz about UK Wildlife  Squirrels

UK Wildlife - Squirrels Trivia Quiz


In London a grey squirrel is the most commonly seen wild mammal. Red squirrels are much more shy. Here is a quiz about these beautiful creatures.

A multiple-choice quiz by miaow. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
miaow
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
123,535
Updated
Mar 26 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
1475
Last 3 plays: krajack99 (6/10), rossian (10/10), Guest 82 (8/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Which is the most commonly sighted squirrel in the whole of the UK - red or grey?

Answer: (One Word - choose either red or grey (gray))
Question 2 of 10
2. What is a squirrel's home called? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. What is the Latin name for the red squirrel? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. For what does a grey or red squirrel use its bushy tail? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Which of the following is NOT a reason for the decline of the red squirrel in the UK? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Why are greys seen as a major nuisance in the UK? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. In which year were the first grey squirrels released in Great Britain? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What is the name of the virus that affects red squirrels? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Red and grey squirrels breed at completely different times in the UK.


Question 10 of 10
10. British squirrels do NOT hibernate.



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 04 2024 : krajack99: 6/10
May 19 2024 : rossian: 10/10
May 05 2024 : Guest 82: 8/10
Apr 24 2024 : Guest 72: 3/10

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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which is the most commonly sighted squirrel in the whole of the UK - red or grey?

Answer: Grey

The grey squirrel is great at adapting to different circumstances. It has thrived in many areas of Great Britain. Figures from www.wildlifetrust.org.uk are "the total number of red squirrels in the UK is estimated at 161,000. Of these only 30,000 are in England, 121,000 in Scotland and 10,000 in Wales.

This compares with a grey squirrel population for the UK of around 2,520,000, with around 2 million in England. In England that means the red is outnumbered 66:1.
2. What is a squirrel's home called?

Answer: Drey

A drey is a platform of twigs in the high branches of a tree, usually higher than 5 metres. The twigs are used to construct a little hollow which is filled with soft bedding materials. The drey (or den as it is sometimes called), can also be a hidey hole in the trunk of a hollow tree. Again the hole is lined with soft mosses and leaves to create a warm safe place for the squirrel to retreat to.
3. What is the Latin name for the red squirrel?

Answer: Sciurus vulgaris

Sciurus carolinensis is the grey squirrel which was introduced into the UK, sciurus niger is the fox squirrel (or Eastern fox squirrel) which can be found in Texas, and sciurus igniventris is the Northern Amazon red squirrel.
4. For what does a grey or red squirrel use its bushy tail?

Answer: All of these

They also have whiskers in their tail (and on their heads and feet) which work like cat's whiskers and prevent the squirrel from bumping into things. This is invaluable as the squirrels may have to move at high speed and have treacherous treetop homes.
5. Which of the following is NOT a reason for the decline of the red squirrel in the UK?

Answer: Red squirrels make a tasty traditional Sunday roast in the UK

Loss of habitat and food go hand in hand. There is much less forest in the UK than in the 19th century when the grey was introduced, and this has caused the red to retreat. The red is much lighter than the grey and spends much of its time in the forest canopy and feeds there.

It gains most energy from pine cones, but will eat any tree seed. Greys can live in trees, but also live on the ground and can feed there - this means their diet is much more diverse (they eat fungi, flowers and green shoots as well as tree seeds) and has aided their adaptation. Red squirrels are susceptible to the parapox virus, but so far the grey seems immune, but may be a carrier.
6. Why are greys seen as a major nuisance in the UK?

Answer: They peel off tree bark

By ripping the bark from trees the squirrels leave them open to insect and fungal attack. The bark also transports nutrients throughout the tree, and when it is gone the top of the tree dies. Quite a bit of damage has been done by grey squirrels, especially to Beech and Hornbeam trees.

Although squirrels can pass on fleas to your dog, they are much more likely to get an infestation from a local cat! Squirrels are partial to the odd flower bulb, but would not eat enough to cause any real harm to your garden. Rabies is very rare in Britain, one of the benefits of being an island nation! In 2002 there was a human rabies case in Scotland caused by a bat which had flown in from mainland Europe.
7. In which year were the first grey squirrels released in Great Britain?

Answer: 1876

The grey was released into woodlands by Victorians, and no-one really knows why. The original release site was in Cheshire, but there were at least a further 28 sites throughout the UK. The largest populations of surviving squirrels are in Ireland, Cumbria (I have spotted reds in the Lake District) and the Scottish Highlands.

There are smaller populations on the Isle of Wight and Brownsea Island which are just off of the South Coast of England. In 2003 there is evidence that the red may be returning to Yorkshire due to planting of diverse woodland and the use of special feeders.

The feeders have a trap door which dumps the heavier grey squirrels unceremoniously from a platform. Only the pride of the squirrel is hurt! The food is still available for the slender red squirrel and supplements their diet when needed.
8. What is the name of the virus that affects red squirrels?

Answer: Parapox

The parapox virus is very similar to myxomatosis which has affected rabbit populations all over the world. Only red squirrels are affected by the virus in the UK. The grey squirrel may be a carrier of the virus, but does not seem adversely affected. Whether the greys pass on the disease is a matter for debate since records of parapox date back to 1227, long before the grey arrived.
9. Red and grey squirrels breed at completely different times in the UK.

Answer: False

In the red and grey species, both male and female squirrels become reproductively active around January and February. Most litters will be born in March and April, and if there is plenty of food around second litters would be born in July. Young squirrels are called kittens, and when they are first born they are bald and blind. Within 6-8 weeks they are miniature versions of their parents.
10. British squirrels do NOT hibernate.

Answer: True

Even during winter months squirrels do not hibernate - they will still be seen scurrying about most days searching for food. Greys have caches everywhere and somehow know how to find them. Reds seem to rely more on luck.
Source: Author miaow

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor crisw before going online.
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