We’re privileged to bring you an article about which tree species help red squirrels, written for us by three eminent red squirrel scientists: Dr Peter Lurz, Dr Craig Shuttleworth and Professor John Gurnell. In Westmorland’s area we are experiencing tree disease and its consequent felling and re-planting, and it’s important that our red squirrels are taken into account in woodland planning, alongside all the other woodland species that vie for attention.
A glut of natural food caused last year’s grey population explosion, but there’s been a complete reversal of food supply over this last autumn/winter, which has had an impact on grey numbers. Only time will tell exactly what we’ll face this year, but there have been good years for greys in the past and we’re not known for giving up at the first hurdle. The problem with the Forestry Commission not allowing suitably trained volunteers to shoot on their land continues to be a thorn in our side. Read more>>
Grey squirrels don’t only present a problem for red squirrels, they are also responsible for damage to property. According to a study published in 2011 by the international scientific organisation CABI for DEFRA, Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly, grey squirrels cost the British economy an estimated £14 million per annum; damage to power cables alone is estimated to cost millions of pounds in the UK. An article in the Guardian identifies hundreds of power outages which can be directly attributed to squirrels.
Read on to get some top trapping tips from Matthew Hand, hear about an exciting new – UK wide – red squirrel conservation project, get the latest on the new pine marten arrivals, find out about invasive species control in Mauritius, and get the low-down on all of the latest developments in red squirrel conservation here in mid Wales. More>>
A wildlife organisation has criticised the Forestry Commission over its policy of dealing with grey squirrels and claimed the animals should be culled with airguns.
The European Squirrel Initiative (ESI) said the grey squirrel is an invasive, non-native species which is dominating the UK woodland. Read more>>
You may remember we mentioned in our previous Winter/Spring 2015 newsletter that it has been a bountiful year for nature in general, with natural food being produced in abundance at the end of 2014. This year’s crop doesn’t seem to have been as productive however with conditions having been good for squirrels in general, there certainly has been a lot of activity on both the red and grey squirrel front!The red population in some areas appears stable, with populations in others seeming to fluctuate (which is natural) and in one or two cases reds have made an appearance where they haven’t been seen for some time – encouraging indeed. Read more>>
Welcome to the last edition of the Newsletter for 2015. I’m not sure where the time goes but this year seems to have flown by!
We have been extremely busy and with more people coming on board to help with grey control, MADRS has removed over 900 grey squirrels from our area up to the end of September. This has encouragingly resulted in Reds returning to cleared areas and Reds being reported in areas where we have not had sightings before. It is a constant and ongoing challenge, but with our collective efforts, there is a brighter future for our native Red Squirrels in this area! Read more>>
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>>
North East of England
In this Autumn newsletter we get an update on the Vincent Wildlife Trust’s pine marten restoration project, find out what’s been popping up on our trail cameras and get an insight into Matthew Hand’s theory of ‘Speculative Species Dispersal’. We also learn about how to deal with ‘by-catch’ and get a glimpse into goings on at Pontrhydfendigaid’s community woodland, Coed Y Bont; and there’s more .. read on>>
The possibility of re-introducing the Pine Marten for controlling grey squirrels is causing quite a stir in squirrel circles. In this issue we have two articles to put you in the picture – one by Dr Emma Sheehy of the University of Aberdeen and the other by David Bavin, Project Officer for The Vincent Wildlife Trust.
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
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
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:
- North East
- North West
Many thanks for all the support.
RSNE Project Manager