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Squirrels: Protection and help for the small rodents

Catalog of fines squirrel

Catch, injure, kill, and damage or destroy breeding sites or resting places of a European red squirrel

federal statefine
Baden-WuerttembergUp to € 50,000
BavariaUp to € 50,000
BerlinUp to € 50,000
BrandenburgUp to € 65,000
BremenUp to € 50,000
HamburgUp to € 50,000
HesseUp to € 50,000
Mecklenburg-Western PomeraniaUp to € 20,000
Lower SaxonyUp to € 50,000
North Rhine-WestphaliaUp to € 50,000
Rhineland-PalatinateUp to € 5,000
SaarlandUp to € 10,000
SaxonyUp to € 50,000
Saxony-AnhaltUp to € 50,000
Schleswig-HolsteinUp to € 50,000
ThuringiaUp to € 50,000

Catalog of fines for cruelty to animals by squirrels

Abuse squirrelsOffense according to § 17 TierSchG (Animal Welfare Act); Imprisonment of up to three years or a fine; Withdrawal of the animal
Kill squirrelsOffense according to § 17 TierSchG; Imprisonment of up to three years or a fine; Animal keeping ban
Steal, steal, or embezzle squirrelsDifferent penalties from the StGB; Imprisonment and fines may apply
Manufacture or distribute animal pornographyPunishable under Section 184a of the Criminal Code; Imprisonment of up to three years or a fine

When the squirrel help is needed

Squirrels are often in with Parks and gardens to find. The European squirrel with its red-brown fur is native to almost all of Europe.

The small rodents also live in Germany and are part of a visit to the park.

But the small animal also has enemies, which is why not only for species protection Fines are necessary. In addition, the squirrel needs protection from its animal opponents. Read here how this squirrel aid works and whether the animal is under species protection.

FAQ: Animal welfare for squirrels

Are squirrels particularly protected in Germany?

As a native mammal, the squirrel enjoys species protection here.

Can I catch a squirrel?

No, catching or injuring squirrels is an administrative offense and, depending on the federal state, can result in a fine of up to 65,000 euros.

Should you feed squirrels?

In cities in particular, the food supply for squirrels is limited, so it helps animal welfare if natural forage plants are planted. If this is not possible, nuts, fruit and water can also be offered.

Specific information on animal welfare for individual mammal species:

Are squirrels protected?

First, a distinction must be made between nature conservation and species protection. Squirrels are not under nature protection, as this is only Plants, landscapes and biotopes protects. The squirrel is under Species protection. According to the Federal Species Protection Ordinance (BArtSchV), the European species is specially protectedbecause it belongs to the native species of mammals.

The North American gray squirrel, named after its gray fur, is not protected, but only counts as a wild animal. Again, depending on the region Fines for killing or injuring of the animals become due. In addition, fines may be payable for cruelty to animals. The Federal Species Protection Ordinance does not protect the gray squirrel, however, as they were not originally native to Germany.

So the squirrel is under species protection. As with the hedgehog, the fines for catching, injuring or killing rodents vary depending on the federal state. Also whoever damages or destroys their breeding sites or resting places has to go with them Fines of up to 65,000 euros calculate.

Found an injured or sick squirrel?

Squirrels need protection when they are ill are. Especially when you've found a squirrel baby, what is no longer warm and lies there motionless, the squirrel emergency call is necessary.

Squirrel mothers won't pick up the little squirrel when it does cold is. For this reason, squirrel protection and help are particularly important.

The Squirrel emergency call e.V. has been committed to squirrel protection since 2008 and is throughout Germany active. Due to the nationwide network of contact persons and rescue stations, the association members are able to nationwide service hotline to offer as part of their work.

Did you find a little squirrel? For this reason, the Eichhörnchen Notruf e.V. has a Telephone team put together which can tell you what to do now and where the next contact person or association islooking after the squirrel foundlings or adults. You can find the telephone number and office hours on the club website

Who found a squirrel or a baby should immediately check the temperature with your hands. If it feels cold, the squirrel should be warmed for protection. Go at it gently deal with the little rodent.

Experts | strongly advise against taking care of people themselves. Yes, it certainly does Federal Nature Conservation Actthat a squirrel can be taken care of and cared for for protection until it can stay in the wild on its own again, but the squirrel help can much can be done wrong.

This is the reason why they are here Associations, veterinarians or rescue centers the right contact when squirrel protection or reintroduction is necessary.


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  1. Hello, we have new neighbors who have now destroyed the house greening by uprooting it in May. In this justification, however, squirrels and birds nested (one nest has already slipped down (fortunately without eggs)), and these animals use the whole thing as protection from crows and magpies.
    Should / do we have to put an ad? When spoken to, they were very unapologetic.
    Greetings from Hamburg

    • Hello Annie,

      You can contact the local public order office, they can also give you advice on the case over the phone.

      The editors of

  2. Hello,
    In our golf club, the moles are tracked with snap traps that are placed in the aisles. I pull the traps out again and again on my rounds, unfortunately very often with a dead animal (once the mole was still alive). I have already called the district office twice (they wanted to see if there was a permit and call back. But I never heard anything). What should you do, I think that's terrible. The little rabbits are also stalked. Best regards G. S.

    • Hello Gerhard,

      the Landesratsamt is indeed the right person to contact - it is advisable to try again there.

      The editors of

  3. Hello,
    in our village there is someone who - without any professional training - raises young squirrels. At the same time he looks after birds of prey (and songbirds at the same time) (again without any professional training).
    What worries me in particular:
    He can be regularly photographed with the animals on his shoulder or in his hand and I have the impression that the animals are totally (mis-) imprinted on him even after the so-called release into the wild. The tourism experts and he himself refer to him as an “animal whisperer”. But I'm afraid that wild animals will have to stop here for commerce. Do I clear my worries? If so, what can you do?

    • Hi Lisa,

      If necessary, ask the public order office or the local hunter whether the necessary permits have been obtained.

      The editors of

  4. Hello,

    I just saw how our neighbor first injured a squirrel with an air rifle and then killed it with a hammer! The man then has the nerve to become abusive when I pointed out to him that it was a criminal offense!

  5. Hello,
    An old, uncut tree hedge, approx. 20 m long, has stood on the neighboring property for over 40 years (I've lived here for 30 years). The owner of the property has died. According to the building authority, the property has been divided for a long time. Every now and then people appear who are interested in the now two plots for the purpose of building.
    In the old hedge, however, a red squirrel has lived for tens of years, and it probably has its goblin there too. A hazelnut tree and a walnut tree are growing on another plot of land, so the little guy can make a living in winter.
    The arborvitae hedge stands exactly on the border of the two plots and will certainly give way to the development. Can you do something for the squirrel and its goblin?
    Best regards

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