Reds need your support!
Friday 27th July 2012
© Peter Tapsell
Red Squirrels Northern England (RSNE) and Northumberland Wildlife Trust have launched a cash appeal to save red squirrels in the region.
Research undertaken during April and May by RSNE volunteers has identified an urgently pressing threat - three of the nine red squirrel reserves in Northumberland are becoming heavily populated by breeding grey squirrels, thereby putting the much smaller remaining red squirrels in danger by out-competing them for food and spreading the deadly squirrelpox virus.
The reserves all lie south of Hexham in the Slaley area and it is now clear that, without immediate action, the red squirrels in these three important reserves will be lost forever.
The aim of the appeal is to protect and increase red squirrel populations in the Slaley area over the next five years. To achieve this, three full-time rangers will be employed to work in these reserves carrying out grey squirrel control and RSNE is asking for donations towards the cost of the project - no matter how small.
Nick Mason, RSNE Project Manager said: “Sadly red and grey squirrels cannot co-exist and without the efforts of land managers and local voluntary groups the red squirrel would already have disappeared.
“Hopefully this appeal will give the red squirrels some breathing space
whilst we secure longer term funding to ensure a solution to the situation.
Nick concluded: “We really do appreciate whatever people can give in
these times of economic uncertainty, but even though times are hard, we
know that if we do not act now, something truly precious will be lost forever.”