Non-lethal ways of reducing invasive grey squirrel populations

Work is being stepped up to develop an oral contraceptive specifically for controlling grey squirrels, which are such a threat to our red squirrels. A report in The Independent summarises the next phase of work by the Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency to develop the vaccine and design grey-only traps. More details here: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/prince-charles-squirrels-nutella-sterilise-plans-backs-grey-red-a7597481.html . The same story is covered in The Timeshttp://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/prince-of-wales-backs-mass-sterilisation-of-grey-squirrels-ncgstkh28?shareToken=c3be20f11407765b02ac3e18fed007f3

‘Squirrel’ published by ESI – Issue 33, November 2016

ESI_Logo_210wideOver the last year or so, we have noticed that some public sector officials seem to be concerned about the public perception issue of grey squirrel control and worried about a backlash. You would think that we are beyond such worries, but this could be due to rotation or retirement of staff and new staff coming into post and to counteract any concerns we decided to run our public perception survey after a 5 year holiday.

I am delighted to report that awareness about the grey squirrel problem remains at broadly the same high level as before and support for grey squirrel control is still high. The full results are published later in the magazine… Read more>>

Invitation from Red Squirrels Northern England

Red Squirrel Conservation Gatherings 2016

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This has been a busy year and we would like to invite you to our Red Squirrel Conservation Gathering events for a chance to catch up and meet like-minded folks. There will be two events:

Red Squirrel Conservation Gathering – North West

Saturday 5th November, 10am – 2pm

Shap Wells Hotel

Lunch provided – please let us know of any dietary requirements when you book your tickets.

Please click here to see an agenda for the day and to book your tickets. Booking essential as places are limited.

Please contact Simon O’Hare by email ​or by calling 07748 269260 if you require further information.

Red Squirrel Conservation Gathering – North East

Saturday 12th November, 10am – 2pm

Stannington Village Hall

Lunch provided – please let us know of any dietary requirements when you book your tickets.

Please click here to see an agenda for the day and to book your tickets. Booking essential as places are limited.

Please contact Heinz Traut by email or by calling 07887782835 if you require further information. 

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Results of the RSNE squirrel monitoring programme, Spring 2016

Photo from 2016 monitoringThis report details the results of red and grey squirrel range monitoring organised by Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) in spring 2016. The aim of this standardised monitoring is to collect a dataset over time that will help demonstrate the impact of red squirrel conservation activity on the distribution of red and grey squirrels. The results of standardised surveying in 293 woodland sites are detailed here, together with additional data collected from a variety of sources to provide a current snapshot of red and grey distribution across northern England. You can download the full 26 page report here>>

How Red is the North of England?

Red Squirrels Northern England have produced these maps below showing where red squirrel presence in Cumbria and the North East of England has been recorded so far in 2015, from January through to October. The maps combine red squirrel sightings reported by the public with data supplied by RSNE’s own rangers and by the NRS voluntary red squirrel groups, together with the results of RSNE’s own squirrel monitoring programme.

The 2014 red squirrel sightings and grey control maps produced by RSNE for the North East and North West of England, Lancashire & Merseyside and the Yorkshire Dales can be seen here>>

Cumbria

Cumbria reds Jan to Oct 2015 (2)

North East of EnglandRed sightings north east Jan to Oct 2015

Wildlife Ark Trust Appeal

The Wildlife Ark Trust have launched a fundraising appeal on the JustGiving platform for £189,000 to pay for the modification of the Squirrel Pox Vaccine candidate. They are optimistic that if enough people become aware of the appeal their target will be hit.

Symptoms of Squirrel Pox Virus

Symptoms of Squirrel Pox Virus

The hope is that if the message about the Wildlife Ark Trust appeal on JustGiving can get enough publicity it will go viral; the only difference being that on this occasion a ‘virus’ will be saving the red squirrels not killing them.

If you would like to help the appeal please let all your friends know about it then tell their friends about it and so on? The link to the JustGiving page is: http://goo.gl//ttGuBj

A social media ‘virus’ would also be a massive boost for the campaign. Thank you

Message from Nick Mason, RSNE Project Manager

Two pieces of news to share :

  • The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts has confirmed that the Heritage Lottery Fund have offered £1.2m of grant aid towards red squirrel conservation across Northern Ireland, Wales and northern England subject to the successful completion of development works this winter – as per the attached press release>>. If successful, the project will help RSNE continue our programme and provide across to new networking and learning opportunities for all RSNE partners and community groups with other red squirrel projects across the UK over four years.
  • The team are running two Conservation Gatherings on Saturday October 17th – we would love you and interested colleagues to attend:
  1. North East
  1. North West

RSNE logoMany thanks for all the support.

Nick Mason
RSNE Project Manager