The use of nest boxes by the red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris in a coniferous habitat

  • Published source details Shuttleworth C.M. (1999) The use of nest boxes by the red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris in a coniferous habitat. Mammal Review, 29, 61-66.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial dens or nest boxes on trees

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Provide artificial dens or nest boxes on trees

    A study in 1994–1997 in a coniferous forest in Lancashire, UK (Shuttleworth 1999) found that red squirrels Sciurus vulgaris used all and bred in some nest boxes. Red squirrels used all boxes within the first three months of placement and used 16-26% of boxes for breeding each year. There was no significant difference in the use of large (18 boxes) and small nest boxes (10 boxes) by breeding females, or in the size of litters in large (2.7 young) and small (2.9) boxes. All age groups and both sexes used boxes. The study site was dominated by Scots pine Pinus sylvestris and Corsican pine Pinus nigra and contained a high density of red squirrels (3.5–4/ha in the spring). Three groups of five small (27 × 30.5 × 48 cm) and five large (32 × 35.5 × 56 cm) timber nest boxes were attached to pine trees a height of 5–8 m in February 1994. Boxes were 50 m apart and filled with hay. In 1995, eight additional large boxes were added. Boxes were waterproofed and had a 7.5-cm-diameter entrance. Boxes were checked monthly from summer 1994 to summer 1997.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust