Red squirrels in helicopter delivery

September 20, 2013
By

Native red squirrel (l) and a grey squirrelThe endangered native red squirrel is about half the size of the grey squirrel which was introduced from the US in the late 19th Century

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.

Continue reading the main story

RED SQUIRRELS

Red squirrel

  • Sciurus vulgaris
  • Reddish-brown fur with cream underside
  • Distinctive tufted ears and bushy tail
  • About half the size of its grey cousin
  • Has four fingers and five toes
  • Does not hibernate
  • Diet includes pine cones, spruce and pine seeds berries, acorns and fungi
  • Average life expectancy in the wild is five to six years

“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.

RNAS Culdrose crew unloading the red squirrelsThe crew of the RNAS Culdrose helicopter delivered the red squirrels during a training exercise

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.”

Possible relocation

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.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-24164247#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa The feed :

Tags:

Sponsored By:

The Deeter Group

Deeter Electronics Ltd. | Deeter Electronics Inc | Deeter Group Asia | Deeter Group Germany | Deeter Group Corporate

Head & Registered Office:
Deeter Electronics Ltd.
Deeter House,
Valley Road,
Hughenden Valley,
Bucks. HP14 4LW

Tel: +44 (0) 1494 566 046
Fax: +44 (0) 1494 563 961
E-mail: [email protected]


The Deeter Group with products ranging from: , , , continuous , 4-20mA , , , , , , , a , wireless sensor and much more.

If you want a standard or a custom level switch, float switch, level sensor, or wireless sensor, contact us via email [email protected] or call us now on 01494 566 046.

Company Name: The Deeter Group

Location: Hughenden Valley, UK

Deeter Electronics USA
Deeter Electronics USA
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Reed relays | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Deeter Electronics UK
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Reed relays | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Deeter Electronics Europe
Wireless sensor system | Radio telemetry | Level switches | Level sensors | Liquid level sensor | Float switches | Controllers & indicators | Industrial weighing equipment | Electronic circuit design & manufacture | Software design | Ultrasonic level flow sludge & proximity sensors | Proximity sensors & switches | Reed switches | Litz wire | Wago Terminals | Mechanical & magnetic floats | Boiler control |

Sensor Magazine Websites
Explosion Proof Sensors UK | Explosion Proof Sensors | Water Level Measurement | Liquid Level Sensing | Liquid Level Measurement | Liquid Level Sensors UK | Liquid Level Sensors Europe | Wireless Sensors | Sensor Magazine | Industrial Sensors



Water use