RSNE will conserve the declining red squirrel in identified key strongholds in Cumbria, as part of the national strategy for saving this animal. Where possible and practicable, RSNE will support the expansion of the red squirrel into the wider landscape surrounding the striongholds.
It ran from 12:00 AM, 1 October 2010 to 12:00 AM, 1 October 2015
Registered Charity in England and Wales (1174201)
Britain's only native squirrel species, the red squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris, is in decline due to the introduction of the American grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis. The grey is classified as an invasive non native species & is in the world's top 100 most damaging invasive non native species. The grey causes 2 problems; it outcompetes the red for food & carries a fatal disease, squirrelpox virus. Greys are immune to this, but it is lethal to reds and can wipe out a population very quickly.
Grey squirrels must be kept apart from reds, so a programme of humane grey squirrel control, in targeted areas is being undertaken. In addition to this, the projects supports research into alternative methods of conservation, such as a vaccine against the virus. County-wide population monitoring of reds and of the efficacy of grey control is at the heart of the work too, to ensure the work is appropriate and effective. This involves wide-spread community engagement and involvement.
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