Red Squirrels

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
In my role as this outfit's self-confessed red-squirrel-obsessive: report herewith, from my latest foray on the track of the elusive quasi-cryptid.

In the course of a recent brief stay in the south of England, my brother and I took a quick trip to Poole and got the ferry over to Brownsea Island -- famed lesser counterpart of the Isle of Wight, as joint last refuges for red squirrels in southern Britain. Brownsea measures about a mile-and-a-quarter by half-a-mile, the majority of the island being wooded: is estimated to host a population of about 200 red squirrels (no greys -- they can't get across the water).

This was my third visit to the island. Re the previous two: on the first, no squirrels seen; on the second, a couple of good sightings. Various conclusions could be drawn from those two experiences ! This recent third visit, leads to the general feeling that two hundred members of a shy species can get quite effectively lost on a largely-wooded island of the size indicated above -- encountering them, not the "shooting-fish-in-a-barrel" exercise that one might imagine. I feel that basically, we were very lucky -- especially as our visit had to be brief: about two hours, in the "lunchtime" window when wildlife is generally rather quiescent. We took a walk round the island, on the plentiful trails which traverse it. At one point in thick woodland, my brother -- all honour to him for his woodcraft -- noticed a small pine-cone segment falling on his head. He put two and two together, looked up, and there was, up in the top of a pine tree, a red squirrel -- not visible with the greatest of clarity, but definitely there, and watchable for about a minute.

Brownsea Island seems, incidentally, a wonderful haven of tranquility, amazing for wildlife far above-and-beyond red squirrels -- the island comprises various habitats.

Concerning British red squirrels and islands: the thought occurred to me recently, what's the picture squirrel-wise with the Isle of Man? -- difficult for sure, for grey squirrels to get to. Googling the matter, revealed that Man has never had any native squirrels of any kind.

The search engine further revealed that in recent years, conservationists have suggested introducing red squirrels to the Isle of Man, where they might flourish and multiply, beyond the reach of their out-competing grey cousins. One understands that the issue was debated in the Manx parliament; which vetoed the move, on both economic and environmental grounds: Manx naturalists had expressed the view that bringing in squirrels of whatever colour, could have a detrimental effect on -- broadest terms -- "what establishedly lives on the island". With the way it seems to be with introduction of exotic species, that "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" -- I have to feel that the people who are cautious about this thing, and say "don't do it", are probably right.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,189
Reaction score
9,191
Points
284
Slaughter of squirrels planned for Lizard Peninsula
3:00pm Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News

Thousands of grey squirrels are set to be killed on the Lizard Peninsula – in order to be replaced by red ones.
The overwhelming majority of landowners have now signed up to the controversial plans, according to Cornwall Red Squirrel Trust that was set up to help re-introduce red squirrels to West Cornwall.

The area has been chosen as the centre of a national project to reintroduce the red squirrel, which was founded in 2009.
It is using the naturally isolated geography of West Cornwall to maximise the chances of the mammal becoming successfully re-established in the county – and has targeted West Penwith and the Lizard Peninsula as the two areas it hopes to clear completely of grey squirrels.
The aim is to remove nearly 4,000 grey squirrels from around 100,000 acres, through poisoning, trapping and shooting.

At the heart of the project on the Lizard is the 1,000-year-old Trelowarren estate, whose owner, Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, is backing the project.
His website states: “Trelowarren has some excellent red squirrel habitat and so does the rest of the Lizard. Sadly for both the greys and the reds, the grey squirrels carry a disease, attractively called squirrel pox, which kills red squirrels. Greys also live in much denser numbers and compete for the same food as the reds, so there is no way they can share the same habitat.”

The project now has a full time “squirrel ranger,” David Fineren, who according to the Cornwall Red Squirrel Trust spends his time in the field, educating land owners from those with a small garden to estates of several hundred acres and enrolling them in the scheme.

Since his appointment earlier this year more than 85 per cent of the Lizard and 50 per cent of West Penwith, in terms of land area, has been signed up to for owners to either remove their own grey squirrels or be helped by the project to do so.

However, the Cornwall Wildlife Trust has concerns about the project.
A spokesperson said: Our conservation work is increasingly focused on landscape-scale habitat projects rather than single species projects.”

Other projects nationally looked to isolate red and grey squirrels, by preventing them from crossing the project area into the wider countryside, but the spokesperson said: “The trust is concerned that if this approach is taken it may hinder wider conservation work to connect habitats in Cornwall.”
He added there were further concerns that the habitat for red squirrels – generally coniferous or mixed woodland – did not reflect the typical make up of the Lizard Peninsula and West Penwith, which featured mainly open heathland and farmland.

Grey squirrels were introduced into Britain from the USA as garden pets in the late 19th century. They are now common, while the native red squirrel has declined.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10 ... TE/?ref=mr
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
I feel rather torn, about this plan re grey and red squirrels in the Lizard Peninsula and West Penwith (am I right, the latter is the extreme "toe" of Cornwall, west of Penzance and St. Ives?). Realise that I'm not being very rational here; but while I can applaud the current campaign to eliminate grey squirrels in Anglesey, so as to let the 500-odd surviving red squirrels on the island multiply and thrive -- somehow, trying to eliminate greys and re-introduce reds, in an area where greys have totally taken over in the natural course of things, seems "not quite cricket". I hate grey squirrels more in the abstract, than in actual fact -- they're quite lovable in their own right.

Matters of cold, hard fact; it would seem that probably the only chance for the British red squirrel, long-term, would be to have isolated havens for the species, which grey squirrels could not get to -- whether literal islands, or "virtual" ones such as the peninsulas at the very western end of Cornwall, where there might be a chance -- after the resident greys are eliminated -- of keeping greys from re-invading. It's a rather knotty problem...
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,189
Reaction score
9,191
Points
284
RNAS Culdrose helicopter flies red squirrels to Tresco

Twenty red squirrels have been flown over to Tresco on the Isles of Scilly to boost a breeding experiment.
Five of the rare endangered native mammals were introduced last year, but only two survived.
The new colony of squirrels from the British Wildlife Centre in Surrey, was flown over by a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall.

Mike Nelhams of Tresco Abbey Gardens said the colony could start breeding as early as next year.
"Tresco is an ideal place for these very cute little animals," he told BBC News.
"We have a lovely woodland for them, there are no natural predators and with no grey squirrels, they are safe from squirrel pox."

The native red squirrel population has been decimated by squirrel pox [parapoxvirus], which is carried by the grey squirrels that were introduced in the UK in the late 19th Century.
Grey squirrels have built up a natural immunity to the virus, but it is fatal to red squirrels, which are now extinct in many parts of Great Britain.
According to the Forestry Commission there are about 140,000 red squirrels left in the wild, compared with more than two million greys.

Mr Nelhams said the idea of introducing red squirrels, mooted by Daily Telegraph wildlife columnist Robin Page, has been supported by Prince Charles and Tresco's owner Robert Dorrien-Smith.
The Prince of Wales is the patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust (RSST).

The new arrivals "hitched a ride" on a Royal Navy search-and-rescue helicopter during a routine training exercise.
"We have the heliport here and as it's not unknown for the Culdrose helicopters to touch down here. We held off getting the squirrels until it coincided with a training exercise to test equipment," Mr Nelhams said.

The red squirrels will be released from their cages on Friday and will be free to roam the Abbey woodland.
However, Mr Nelhams said food and water would be provided for them every day until they could forage sufficiently for themselves and no longer needed to be fed.

"The ones we have are quite sociable little creatures and make their way back most days for hazelnuts, fruit and vegetables," he said.
"In terms of their natural diet, red squirrels love pine cones and the magnificent Monterey pines we have here on Tresco means there's a huge supply of cones."

The squirrels - believed to be an even mix of males and females - are about a year old and could begin breeding in the spring.
Litters vary between one and six, but the average is three.
Mr Nelham said it was "highly unlikely" Tresco would become overrun by red squirrels.
"It's very early days, but if the numbers really grow we could probably catch some - they're quite easy to catch - and relocate them - perhaps even to Cornwall."

The Cornwall Red Squirrel Project is currently culling grey squirrels ahead of plans to reintroduce red squirrels in two parts of the county - the Lizard and West Penwith.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-24164247
 

JamesWhitehead

Piffle Prospector
Joined
Aug 2, 2001
Messages
13,849
Reaction score
13,797
Points
334
I read it as Tesco!

But I'm sure their squirrel burgers would be grey. :(
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
rynner2 said:
RNAS Culdrose helicopter flies red squirrels to Tresco

The Prince of Wales is the patron of the Red Squirrel Survival Trust (RSST).
I have little use for that guy; but at least we're on the same page where squirrels are concerned.

Mr Nelham said it was "highly unlikely" Tresco would become overrun by red squirrels.
"It's very early days, but if the numbers really grow we could probably catch some - they're quite easy to catch - and relocate them - perhaps even to Cornwall."

The Cornwall Red Squirrel Project is currently culling grey squirrels ahead of plans to reintroduce red squirrels in two parts of the county - the Lizard and West Penwith.
I can envisage trouble-and-bother ahead, with naturalists tearing their hair about Tresco's ecology being thrown horribly out of kilter by the invasion of those ****ing alien squirrels; but as the man says, possibility if need be, of catching them and sending them off to "another sector of the front".


And James Whitehead wrote: "I read it as Tesco ! But I'm sure their squirrel burgers would be grey."

When I briefly visited Tresco a few years ago, I kept wondering, "Is there a Tesco on Tresco -- and if not, why not?"

I have a considerable wish to try grey squirrel, eating-wise (it's supposed to be good, quite like rabbit) -- and, would be a token gesture in the war against the American interloper... The problem is, sourcing it -- if one is not a skilled hunter-and-trapper on one's own account. Can be done, I gather, but not easily -- will keep trying. (Have the recipes already.)
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
4,024
Reaction score
1,524
Points
174
I have little use for that guy

Nor me.

I have a considerable wish to try grey squirrel, eating-wise

I don't think I could bring myself to, I've got a bit of a hang up about eating small animals. Except for rabbits for some reason, and ducks. In fact I'm definitely OK with ducks.
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
And in purely practical terms, if creatures are much smaller than rabbit-size, it becomes questionable whether it's worth the effort. (Those southern Europeans who kill and eat small wild birds, would probably think otherwise.)

I find that I'd be cool with squirrels -- grey, of course. In part, because I gather that sciurus carolinensis is quite widely eaten (by humans) in its native North America -- the dish concerned, known I believe as "Brunswick stew". ISTR that it's reckoned rather down-market and hillbilly-ish, but not completely beyond the pale.
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
4,024
Reaction score
1,524
Points
174
(Those southern Europeans who kill and eat small wild birds, would probably think otherwise.)

Yes, but they'd be wrong.

As much of a fascination I have with the Ancient Romans one thing which fills me with horror is their rodent eating.
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
oldrover said:
(Those southern Europeans who kill and eat small wild birds, would probably think otherwise.)

Yes, but they'd be wrong.

As much of a fascination I have with the Ancient Romans one thing which fills me with horror is their rodent eating.
Dormice in honey and poppy seeds? -- there's nothing like it ! (In the Lewis Carroll sense -- "I didn't say there was nothing better; I said there was nothing like it.")
 

GNC

King-Sized Canary
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Messages
32,951
Reaction score
21,232
Points
334
In the film Never Cry Wolf, the researcher Farley Mowat proves that wolves live in the region close to the Arctic Circle by consuming mice. He proves it by living on mice himself for a few weeks. It was based on a true story, but apparently the real life research was discredited after the film was released. Anyway, you can survive on mice if that's what you want to do. Farley Mowat is still alive aged 92, so maybe they're actually good for you?
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
4,024
Reaction score
1,524
Points
174
you can survive on mice if that's what you want to do

You're fine, I'll stick to bacon.

Interesting short article on the Romans and their dormice:

www.gourmet.com/food/2007/11/dormouse

As much as I'd like to read about Roman cookery I'm afraid to click that link in case there are pictures. Seriously I see some gruesome things that bother me not at all, but the thought of looking on a dressed mouse, as featured on 'The Supersizers Eat Ancient Rome', fills me with horror.
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
oldrover said:
Interesting short article on the Romans and their dormice:

www.gourmet.com/food/2007/11/dormouse

As much as I'd like to read about Roman cookery I'm afraid to click that link in case there are pictures. Seriously I see some gruesome things that bother me not at all, but the thought of looking on a dressed mouse, as featured on 'The Supersizers Eat Ancient Rome', fills me with horror.
Don't worry -- the only picture is of a very cute dormouse, alive and well in the wild.
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
gncxx said:
In the film Never Cry Wolf, the researcher Farley Mowat proves that wolves live in the region close to the Arctic Circle by consuming mice. He proves it by living on mice himself for a few weeks. It was based on a true story, but apparently the real life research was discredited after the film was released. Anyway, you can survive on mice if that's what you want to do. Farley Mowat is still alive aged 92, so maybe they're actually good for you?
I've found Mowat's books fascinating; but have heard the opinion from more than one source, that he has a vivid imagination which he sometimes lets run away with him. Not to suggest that nothing from that direction, is ever true; but I tend to be a bit sceptical about anything told of by F.M. (As you mention, "real life research discredited after film released" -- what I'd rather expect re something involving this guy -- though, not to assert that a mouse diet can't sustain human life !)
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
Latest report from forum's designated red-squirrel-monomaniac -- just back from a trip to the Isle of Wight, involving visit late in the day (good time for squirrel activity) to the nature reserve where they are habituated. I got a quarter-hour of red-squirrel action -- from perceived difference in shade of coats, I reckon two different squirrels, though I only saw one at a time. They're unafraid of humans -- will pass by within inches of you. And they're so incredibly agile !

The Wight Nature Fund, which runs the reserve, seems to be modestly "going public" in comparison to my last visit -- notices seen posted en route thereto, directing to the reserve's "Bird and Squirrel Hide".
 

oldrover

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
4,024
Reaction score
1,524
Points
174
I got a quarter-hour of red-squirrel action -- from perceived difference in shade of coats, I reckon two different squirrels, though I only saw one at a time.

I've had this problem with stoats, it's murder to tell.

Congratulations on seeing a red, better luck than I had on my recent squirrel hunt.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,189
Reaction score
9,191
Points
284
Good news for the Reds! And no, I'm not talking about LFC, although this story does come from Liverpool! ;)

Merseyside red squirrels show signs of pox resistance
By Victoria Gill, Science reporter, BBC News
[Video: Tim Dale from the University of Liverpool explains the significance of the findings]

Red squirrels at a National Trust reserve in Merseyside have shown signs of resistance to the pox virus that has blighted the species, say researchers.
Scientists from the University of Liverpool have studied the squirrels at the Formby site for four years.
They found that 10% of its squirrels had pox antibodies in their blood.
These antibodies are chemical tags that allow the body to recognise and respond to an infection quickly.

This strongly suggests that the squirrels have encountered the pox virus previously and recovered from it.
"Before we started this project, it was debatable whether any squirrels had survived exposure to the virus," said Tim Dale, the project's leading researcher.
"But the work that we've done has shown that a small percentage have been exposed to the virus and they're still running around healthy in the forest."

The UK population of red squirrels has been in decline since grey squirrels were introduced from North America by the Victorians.
As well as displacing red squirrels from their habitat, grey squirrels also carry the squirrel pox virus, which they have spread to the reds.

While most of the remaining UK red squirrels inhabit the coniferous forests of Scotland, Formby is one of a handful of protected reserves in England where grey squirrel numbers are controlled to protect the reds.
Despite this protection, a pox outbreak in 2008 devastated the red squirrel population, reducing it by 80%.
"Our research has shown that [the pox virus] was introduced by the greys. It just spread through the population and caused a lot of red squirrel deaths," said Mr Dale.

"So we wanted to find out if the remaining red squirrels had survived pox or had just been lucky enough not to be exposed."
The team started a project to systematically catch and examine individual squirrels.
As well as monitoring the population's gradual recovery, the study gathered blood samples that revealed clues that the animals had survived the disease.

This is evidence that the squirrels could be starting to develop resistance to the pox virus, which they could potentially pass on to future generations.
Signs of immunity to the lethal pox virus have been seen before - but only in dead specimens.

"It's obviously great news, but there's still a lot of work to be done," said Mr Dale. "It's a very small percentage [that have the antibodies] and whether that's enough to pass it on to the next generation we just don't know.

The National Trust manager at Formby, Andrew Brockbank, said the work at such protected sites was very important for the future of the species.
"This research will bring value not only to Formby, but to other sites facing similar challenges," he told BBC News, "and the decline of the red squirrel has been a major conservation challenge."

The scientists are now applying for funding to continue their work, and to investigate the route of transmission of the virus to work out how to combat it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25034405

(Sidebar and another video on page.)
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
Good to hear about signs of potential resistance to the loathsome pox -- may the best possible outcomes concerning same, be realised.

As regards the British mainland, I can't overall feel very optimistic about the long-term survival of the native red squirrel species, under pressure from the introduced grey; but even if the red squirrel is ultimately doomed other than in tiny, "micromanaged" places of refuge -- I hope its final ousting may take a very long time yet: with anything and everything in play, that might defer the "endgame".
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
In my resident-red-squirrel-buff role: have just returned from a week on the Isle of Wight. This week's stay involved a fair amount of country walking, and one deliberate trip to the Wight Nature Fund reserve, previously mentioned in this thread, where red squirrels are habituated and fearlessly come close to visitors. If one goes to this reserve at the optimum times -- first or last couple of hours of daylight -- one is not-far-off-guaranteed a squirrel encounter. Nothing is a 100% dead cert, however. I went to the reserve toward the end of daylight; spent an hour there, and: highly abundant bird life, but of squirrels neither hide nor hair. To the disappointment of myself, and a couple of local folk who came along armed with hazelnuts -- but to no avail.

Earlier that same day, though, walking along a cycling / horse-riding / walking trail, a couple of miles south of Newport IOW, I had a sighting of two squirrels, leaping and scampering around in, and between, several leafless trees, right beside the trail. Was able to watch them for a couple of minutes. With the way we generally tend to feel about things -- on the IOW, a genuine, chance, completely "in the wild", squirrel encounter, is apt to be more exciting than a nearly-guaranteed one at the habituating reserve.

Odd though it may seem to have Sciurus vulgaris, which is demonstrably still alive and observable daily if one lives in the right place, in this board's "Cryptozoology" section; as regards the pure "showmanship" aspect of the business, I feel convinced that the Isle of Wight's red squirrels have been to cryptid school.
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
Further red-squirrel musings, re recent trip to “the land of”... My relatives on the Isle of Wight have a book which I was perusing: "The Country Diary of a Cheshire Man" by one A.W. Boyd, living in mid-Cheshire – the author’s entries covering period early 1930s – 1945. (A poignant one from the first day of World War II: “...if only Hitler had been an ornithologist, he would have put off the war until the autumn bird migration was over... That he should force us to waste the last week of August and the first fortnight of September in a uniform that we hoped we had discarded for good is really the final outrage”.)

Another interesting entry among many, in this book, is one dated 1933 -- telling of the reported killing of a grey squirrel on the author’s “patch”: where hitherto, red squirrels had reigned supreme. It is generally understood that the first introductions of grey squirrels to Britain were in the Home Counties of England: whence, initially very gradually, the greys spread out in all directions, progressively ousting the native red species. John Betjeman, when in reminiscing-of-his-childhood mode, tells of red squirrels being the norm in the London suburbs in the 1910s. The red squirrel becoming a true rarity, is after all relatively recent. My personal bad luck, I feel, to have spent my six and a half decades of life always basically in the less-northerly parts of England, so seeing reds only in the course of holidays in “outlying regions”.
 

hunck

Antediluvian
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
6,578
Reaction score
10,236
Points
299
Location
Hobbs End
I'm in my 50s and am sure I remember as a child seeing red squirrels in our garden in North London. This would be in the 60s and they were rare to see but they were there.
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
Interesting -- thanks ! and, I can believe you. The whole thing went -- and continues to go -- raggedly and gradually, with grey squirrels not visiting violence on the red kind: just, in the big picture, out-competing them Darwin-wise.
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
Have just returned from a week’s holiday in Jersey, with relatives – chief objective, walking around the island’s coasts, with wildlife encounters largely incidental and left to chance. As mentioned by a PP in the early days (2001) of this thread, Jersey has in the wild, red squirrels and no grey ones – the reds are estimated to number 800+. We saw one red squirrel in the course of the week: observed for a couple of minutes, during a visit to the Jersey Zoo (“Durrell” in island parlance). The zoo personnel have in place in the establishment’s 32 acres, feeding stations to attract the wild squirrels.

Whilst it was very pleasant to see this specimen; a subsequent discovery was disappointing to me personally. I found that squirrels are not native to any of the Channel Islands, and have existed in the wild, only on Jersey (though see below) – and were introduced to Jersey and released there by local naturalists, in the late 19th century (1885 the most often-cited date): some individuals brought in from continental Europe, some from southern England. So in cold fact, the red squirrel no more truly belongs in Jersey, than the American grey squirrel does in Great Britain; and has been in Jersey, for no longer than has the grey in GB. Nice to have the reds in Jersey, and all that, and it’s good that they seem to be doing reasonably well there – but having found out the above makes their presence in Jersey, for me, less exciting.

“Channel Island squirrels on Jersey only” – we have a bit of a family connection with the Channel Islands. A late aunt-by-marriage was born and brought up in Guernsey; a brother of mine recalls – to the best of his recollection -- being told by her, a good many years ago, about her having seen red squirrels in a particular pine wood on Guernsey. If correct, this contradicts the “Jersey only” orthodoxy -- but my brother’s memory of the conversation might be awry; or our aunt, who would have been getting on in years back then, might have been confused in her recollections, and might in fact have been recalling things observed on a visit by her to Jersey: all one of those tantalising things which are basically past resolution.

There is – in the realms of pure humour – a rather fine spoof site about the totally fictitious “Guernsey squirrel”, and various other Guernsey nonsense “non-lore”:

guernseysquirrel.blogspot.com/
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,189
Reaction score
9,191
Points
284
This evening on TV:

Countryfile
Isles of Scilly
Today on BBC1 South West from 7:00pm to 8:00pm

...
Ellie Harrison visits the beautiful privately owned island of Tresco, where they have recently imported some red squirrels.
...

Programme also features rats, ducks, and cows!
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
Item recently informed of, relevant to the Irish red-squirrel scene:

http://www.live.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-north ... d-27224208

Applying to Google, informed me that the Irish Republic also has pine martens: reckoned definitely rare -- estimated 2,700 of them in the country, mostly in the middle of it, and the far west -- unless, as in the North, they've been doing better than the authorities on the subject, had thought !
 

amyasleigh

Abominable Snowman
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
847
Reaction score
351
Points
69
amyasleigh said:
gncxx said:
In the film Never Cry Wolf, the researcher Farley Mowat proves that wolves live in the region close to the Arctic Circle by consuming mice. He proves it by living on mice himself for a few weeks. It was based on a true story, but apparently the real life research was discredited after the film was released. Anyway, you can survive on mice if that's what you want to do. Farley Mowat is still alive aged 92, so maybe they're actually good for you?
I've found Mowat's books fascinating; but have heard the opinion from more than one source, that he has a vivid imagination which he sometimes lets run away with him. Not to suggest that nothing from that direction, is ever true; but I tend to be a bit sceptical about anything told of by F.M. (As you mention, "real life research discredited after film released" -- what I'd rather expect re something involving this guy -- though, not to assert that a mouse diet can't sustain human life !)
The above quotes, from this thread last year: off at a slight tangent, from Sciurus vulgaris -- have just become aware that Farley Mowat died a couple of weeks ago, on May 6th this year. He was born in 1921 -- so, a case of "a good innings". Although -- as mentioned above -- it's possible that he could at times have been "economical with the truth": my feeling is that he was, overall, good value as an author, and his heart in the right place -- RIP.
 

rynner2

Gone But Not Forgotten
(ACCOUNT RETIRED)
Joined
Aug 7, 2001
Messages
55,189
Reaction score
9,191
Points
284
Red Squirrels Born In Cornwall
7:02am 7th June 2014

Cornwall welcomes the birth of two red squirrels.
It is as the breed's population is dropping and is even extinct in some areas of the country.
Staff at Paradise Park are hopefull this will help boost number in the Duchy.
It's planning to eventually release them into the wild.

Curator David Woolcock said: "The Red Squirrel has suffered a dramatic population decline in the last century and they are extinct in much of Southern England, Northern Ireland and Wales. These two babies will help establish more breeding groups hopefully within collections in Cornwall, and in the long term we hope they will be released in Cornwall."

"We first got involved in breeding Red Squirrels back in 1996 when we had a pair on loan from the Welsh Mountain Zoo. They have bred successfully ever since".

http://www.piratefm.co.uk/news/latest-n ... -cornwall/
 

Quake42

Warrior Princess
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
9,311
Reaction score
3,808
Points
219
Northumberland has long been a red squirrel stronghold and my mother was very disappointed to see a grey while I was visiting a few weeks ago.

We reported the sighting - there's an online facility for doing so - and got a pretty quick reply to the effect that someone was going to be sent out asap to trap and cull the unfortunate grey.
 
Top