NUI Galway to Host 8th International Colloquium on Squirrels

A red squirrel in Killiney Hill Dublin. Photo: Michael Ryan/Luzy Desierdo
May 31 2018 Posted: 10:34 IST

Conserving the important Sciuridae family is a key aim of the event

NUI Galway will host the 8th International Colloquium on Squirrels from the 4-8 June, a global event that takes place every three years. The colloquium brings together squirrel researchers from around the world to discuss all aspects of squirrel biology including ecology, evolution, morphology, genetics, pathology and conservation.   

Originally focusing on tree squirrels, the colloquium was expanded to include flying squirrels at the fourth meeting in Kerala, India in 2006. This year the event at NUI Galway will also include work on ground squirrels, conducted by scientists in Africa, Europe and America, to broaden the colloquium to include research on the whole Sciuridae family.

Chair of the colloquium, Dr Colin Lawton from Zoology at the Ryan Institute in NUI Galway, said: “Research conducted by wildlife ecologists in NUI Galway and other Irish institutions will be presented at the colloquium. This will include the latest on the recovery of the red squirrel in Ireland, thanks to successful conservation projects, afforestation and the impact the pine marten has had on the invasive grey squirrel.

“We are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event, and welcoming colleagues and friends from around the world to Galway. It gives us a great opportunity to learn from one another, and to work towards our common goal of conserving this important and fascinating group of animals.”

Fifty one squirrel experts representing fifteen countries will present their work and hold discussion sessions on common themes, along with field excursions to forests in Cong and Moore Hall in Co. Mayo.

Keynote speakers will include:

  • Jane Waterman, University of Manitoba, Ontario will discuss sociality, reproductive skew and infection in an African ground squirrel.
  • John Koprowski, University of Arizona, Canada will discuss the conservation of squirrels on the ground and in the trees, and the value of the Sciuridae.
  • Stan Boutin, University of Alberta will discuss ecology, energetics and evolution of Kluane Lake red squirrels.

The colloquium is sponsored by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, the European Squirrel Initiative and Fáilte Ireland.

The event will take place from the 4-8 June in the O’Tnuathail Theatre, Arts Millennium Building at NUI Galway.

Places are still available to attend. For registration and full programme details, visit: and visit Facebook @squirrels2018.

Video footage of red squirrels in Derryclare forest, Connemara, Co Galway: 


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