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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Red Squirrels to be reintroduced into Cornwall

Plans are afoot to reintroduce the Red Squirrel into Cornwall.

The £120,000 project is planning on reintroducing the Squirrels into 500 hectares of woodland is currently being identified on the Lizard Peninsula and West Penwith.

There are 1000's of greys in Cornwall and already landowners in the area (including the National Trust) are in talks about how to "eradicate" grey squirrels. There will have to be a 10 to 15 mile buffer zone where greys are also "controlled". The greys will be killed by a combination of trapping and poisoning in line with Forestry Commission guidelines.

The project has royal approval with Prince Charles supporting the programme.

The importance of preserving Britain’s reds cannot be overstated. They are one of the most charming and irresistible of British native mammals and are under ceaseless, pernicious attack by the relentless march of the imported greys which do such untold damage to newly-planted native hardwood trees all over the country.

Personally I'd think a better way of doing it would be vaccinating against the pox and contraception for the greys. Oh and managing woodlands to favour reds.

Indeed I'd like more money put towards find a Vaccine for the Reds.

As it is I suspect those who want to play space invaders with Greys will have great fun.


Anonymous said...

I wonder how you can give birth control pills to grey squirrels and not have the red ones eat them too. Are the red squirrels dying of "pox" but the grey ones arent? How do you manage the woods for the red squirrels? Do they like certain kinds of trees or something. The photo you took of the red squirrel was absolutely dear. Turquis

Pete said...

the greys were introduced from North America and are carriers of a disease that the Reds have no immunity to. The greys have a natural immunity.

as to woodlands they do like different types of woodland so it is possible to manage what we have to be more accomodating to reds