Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Red Squirrel Week

Photo by Gary K Mann

This week (Monday the 28th of September - Sunday the 4th of October) is Red Squirrel week. A week dedicated to raising the awareness of our native red squirrels in the UK. So what can you do to help?.. Well one of the things you could do is follow this link to the Wildlife Trusts page. Here they explain more about the week, a little about red squirrel conservation and links to things you can do to help.



So what better time than to bring a catch up, or round up, of our squirrel news for this year. Our breeding group has done very well again, and we have many kittens that have been bred this year. Most are now back at the Centre, waiting to be redistributed around the group. New pairings need to be made where older squirrels currently are, and new holders are joining the group too.

In terms of releases... so far nothing is confirmed for this year, but owner David Mills does have a couple of things in the pipeline. How soon these will come to effect depends on many things, but as always I will bring you news as soon as I am able.



With squirrels in the news, what other conservation stories have cropped up in to public eyes. Over the last few days there have been two other notable things which we are helping with, which has seen a bit of coverage in the national news. Firstly, Wildcats! And what better way to show you how wild a wildcat really is than with the photo above!

Changes within the management group of wildcats has taken place this year, and with renewed motivation it seems things may finally be getting a bit of a move on. Do you remember we had our cats tested for purity? Results are in, and all confirmed results are good with one that needs re-testing due to a mix up. 



Ah, thats a better "wild" wildcat!

So, good news, and with what seems like a bit more direction with efforts now, we will likely breed from one of our pair of cats next year once again. Short term, later this season we will re test our remaining cat for purity, and while giving them all their annual flu boosters take pelage photographs and measurements to send to the studbook holder to strengthen their records and understanding of purity in wildcats. All very exciting.!



And look at that... I have managed to slip a pine marten photo in to the last couple of posts now :-)

We have helped the Vincent Wildlife Trust in the past with pine marten scats, enclosure measurements etc all with their goal of relocating pine martens back in to Wales this Autumn. So why am I bringing this up again?..

Recently the first few pine marten have been moved to Wales! More will be trapped under licence, and relocated to Wales over the coming weeks. In total 20 individuals will be moved, with a further 20 to be relocated next year. They will be fitted with radio collars so that their progress can be monitored.

If this is successful, the long term plan is to look at relocating to areas of England.


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