Restoring the predominance of the native red squirrel in the scheme area by reducing competition from the grey squirrel.
The overall scope and purpose of the Rusland Reds project is to restore the predominance of the native red squirrel throughout the scheme area by reducing competition from the grey squirrel, which is a non-native, invasive species.
This project aims to:
Update March 2017:...
The decline of the native red squirrel has been rapid and accelerating in the last couple of decades, and Cumbria is one of the areas currently at the front line of survival for this species. The Rusland Horizons area has enclaves of the much loved red squirrels, but the encroaching American grey squirrels and the virus they spread are on the increase in the area, generally.
Scientific evidence from Natural England, the Forestry Commission and Red Squirrels Northern England confirms that greys out-compete the reds for available food, out-breed the reds (providing up to three litters of 4-6 kittens each year) and transmit squirrel pox virus, which is fatal to reds. Grey squirrels also cause significant damage to trees by stripping bark, which can discourage owners from tree planting and managing their woodlands, and are known to predate the eggs of many of our woodland birds.
In general terms the area offers good habitat for red squirrels, but also for greys. Good woodland management and tree husbandry, if carefully designed and managed in sympathy with the needs of red squirrels, offers the best chance for their long term survival. This project dovetails with the other woodland projects in the scheme.
Westmorland Red Squirrel Society are working with landowners and volunteers to install and monitor squirrel feeders and trail camera to gather information on squirrel sightings. Through guided walks and talks, Westmorland Red Squirrel Society are raising awareness of the plight of the red squirrel and encouraging the public to report squirrel sightings. Data will be stored by Red Squirrels Northern England for future use and management.
Contractors and landowners are controlling grey squirrels and creating and maintaining habitat for red squirrels.
Unless marked as optional, all fields are required
Interested in multiple projects? Click
No charge. Cancel anytime. We value your privacy and will not share your details.