The red squirrel is found in both coniferous and temperate broadleaf forests throughout Europe and northern Asia. This is a completely separate species from the North American red squirrel that is found in Canada and the northern United States.
In most parts of its range the red squirrel is abundant. However, tragically, in England the introduction of the larger and stronger eastern gray squirrel from North America, sometime in the late 19th or early 20th century, has pushed the red squirrel out of most of its range. This is not due to aggression by the eastern gray, as the two species are not known to be antagonistic, but is because of several factors including the conflict over available food resources, greater adaptability and breeding success of the eastern gray squirrel, and, most troubling, a disease called squirrel pox which eastern grays carry but are immune to, but which is fatal to the red squirrel. Apart from the spread of the eastern gray squirrel, the red squirrel population has also been affected by fragmentation and reduction of its native forest habitat.
Wild populations of red squirrels in the United Kingdom are now found primarily in Scotland. Efforts are underway to protect and conserve the remaining populations of red squirrels. More information about these efforts, and how you can help, can be found here.