Red squirrels in Bangor, North Wales on the increase

Despite an outbreak of squirrelpox virus (SPQV) in 2017, red squirrels in the city of Bangor in North Wales have increased in 2018. SQPV is carried by grey squirrels and invariably fatal to red squirrels (The Bangor Aye). Red Squirrels Trust Wales has embarked on a project (Painting the Town Red) to rid the city and 1500 ha in the surrounding area of grey squirrels, so encouraging the return of the native squirrel. This is part of a major red squirrel conservation
initiative being carried out in North Wales. Following the successful eradication of grey squirrels and red squirrel conservation work carried out on the Isle of Anglesey since 1997, red squirrels were first noticed to have crossed from the island to the mainland and colonised several woods in the county of Gwynedd in 2008. Red Squirrels Trust Wales and Natural resources Wales have embarked on a programme of grey squirrels control in 165 sq km of Gywnedd as part of an EU Life14 funded project NAT/UK/000467 – Sciurious LIFE. Organisations in the North of Wales are now considering whether to release captive bred pine martens in Bangor and northern Gwynedd to help control grey squirrels (Bangor Aye).

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