An initiative to help red squirrels in North Wales is to be extended into Gwynedd. The project is a partnership between the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and the Red Squirrels Trust Wales. It has already had success in Anglesey which now contains the largest and most genetically diverse red squirrel population in Wales with over 500 animals recorded over a 720km2 landscape.
The scheme, part of BASC’s Green Shoots conservation programme, now aims to focus on Gwynedd. In 2008 the first red squirrel crossed the Menai Straits and colonized woodlands. In 2012 red squirrels were found breeding near Parc Menai in Bangor.
Dr Craig Shuttleworth of the Red Squirrels Trust Wales said: “Working with BASC, we have a unique opportunity to see red squirrels return to woodlands in Bangor and the Ogwen Valley. Anglesey has demonstrated the strong public support that exists for red squirrel conservation and we want to build upon that. The Gwynedd project will help protect Anglesey from the threat of grey squirrel reinvasion as well as creating an important mainland red squirrel population.”
Audrey Watson of BASC said: “Grey squirrel populations threaten to make red squirrels extinct. It is through management projects like this that the contribution to conservation by people who shoot is brought to the fore. Research shows that shooters put in almost three million work days on conservation each year.”
For more information please call the BASC press office on 01244 573052.