Green Shoots in Northern Ireland

Protecting the red squirrel

BASC NI is concerned that the native red squirrel is in decline across Northern Ireland, and that the decline is linked to the spread of the non-native grey squirrel.  Under the Green Shoots programme, protecting the small populations of reds has become a priority for BASC NI and with that in mind, BASC NI has joined the Northern Ireland Squirrel Forum where we will work in partnership with other representative bodies to halt the decline of the red squirrel population.

There are currently 8 red squirrel action groups across NI.  BASC Northern Ireland is a member of the Ards Red Squirrel Group and we have the full support of the Joint Council of Strangford Lough Wildfowling Associations who are keen to lend their assistance to the project.

Can you help with grey squirrel control

We are keen to know of members who are actively trapping and culling grey squirrels and the areas where grey squirrel control is taking place.  If you are willing to get involved in a co-ordinated trapping and culling program or you wish to find out more about this project, please contact Jonathan Orr on 028 9260 5050 or nire@basc.org.uk.

BASC members can help this project by reporting sightings of red & grey squirrels, (live or dead) from anywhere in Northern Ireland, to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.  The information received from members will help build a picture of where reds & greys exist and should also highlight areas where greys are having a detrimental impact on the red squirrel population.  Sightings of squirrels should be reported via the website http://www2.habitas.org.uk/squirrels/or by telephone on 028 9056 9551  When you are reporting a squirrel sighting, please do tell NIEA that you are a BASC member, further highlighting the value of working with the shooting community.

NIEA have a supply of grey squirrel traps which can be loaned to BASC members, where they can be used.  For further information contact Andrew or you can e-mail NIEA directly on squirrels@doeni.gov.uk.  Again, remember to tell NIEA that you are a BASC member.

For more information on Red Squirrel Action Groups in Northern Ireland please visit the Northern Ireland Squirrel Forum website.

If you would like further information on protecting the red squirrel please contact Jonathan Orr on nire@basc.org.uk or 028 9260 5050.

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