Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Come On the 'Reds'.

Pleased to read Sally Williams' report in today's Western Mail that the Red Squirrel is making a strong comeback on the Island of Anglesey. Menter Mon has been leading the re-introduction effort for the last 11 years, and ecologist Craig Shuttleworth reckons that there are 150 Red Squirrels scampering around the Newborough Forest at the moment. This is a truly amazing achievement, and this blog is flushed with the excitement of it all.

There have been two basic strands to the successful strategy. Firstly there has been the complex work involved in expanding the Red Squirrel breeding programme, and secondly there's the rather more 'negative' side which involves the culling of the horrible Grey Squirrel. The report claims that 7,000 have been despatched and that there are only 50 of these 'rats with tails' now left on the Island. That's 50 too many in my opinion. I've been interested in this work for many years, and have to admit that reading a report such as that written by Sally was something I hadn't expected ever to read. Maybe someday, we may see the Red Squirrel scampering around Montgomeryshire again, as they were a few decades ago.


Anonymous said...

Good news. As a kid I never saw a red squirrel on Môn (or anywhere else in Britain), in fact the first time I saw the red squirrel was in a park in Berlin, where they were both numerous and (as is often the case with wildlife in an urban setting) not at all shy.

mystified said...

2.30? What are you doing blogging at 2.30, Glyn?

Glyn Davies said...

Sanddef - You are too young. Last red I saw was in the car park at Fota Zoo in Cork, cheeky as you like. Problem we have is that the Red cannot survive where there are the imported Greys (or the new mutated Blacks). People think the Greys are cute, which makes it difficult for Government to have a policy to cull every Grey in the country. But there is hope that the Red will not follow the rest of Britain, where it may eventually become extinct.

Mystified - Couldn't sleep so had a coffee and read the paper, which I'd not been able to do during the day because I was playing golf and out for supper. Mystery solved.

Ceridwen Hughes said...

Squirrels are gorgeous!
Habitats are shriking though
Ideally should be protected
Their future in jeopardy

Firstly protect them legally
Only this will suffice
Red squirrels demand it!

Be great to have them back.
Running around our woods.
After all these years.
I demand we act Glyn!
No more waiting
Save the squirrel!

Anonymous said...

I thought all rats had tails

Glyn Davies said...

Ceridwen - only way to save the Reds is by killing the Greys.

Anon - I should have said 'rats with bushy tails'!