New native species of squirrel identified in Italy, already under threat?


Friday, 3 March 2017

A squirrel species, Sciurus meridionalis, Lucifero 1907, so far considered a subspecies of Sciurus vulgaris, the common red squirrel, was further investigated in a recently published study. 

The species, native to the southern regions of Calabria and Basilicata in Italy, has been morphologically and genetically studied revealing its identity separation from Sciurus vulgaris. The new species proposed  common name is Calabrian black squirrel.

Unfortunately, this new species  is already exposed to the threat of extinction by human activities and by competitors such as the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and Callosciurus finlaysonii, Finlayson's squirrel.

More info at Journal of mammalogy: