On Wednesday 12th December at 3 I am going to be interviewing someone from the Cornwall Red Squirrel Project.The Cornwall Red Squirrel Project is a re-introductory project with the aim of re-introducing red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris), Britain’s only native squirrel, in Cornwall. The species was once common in Britain until the introduction of the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in 1876 . At present the red squirrel population consists of approximately 120,000 individuals. 75% are in Scotland with small colonies surviving in England and Wales, the most notable being on Anglesey and Brownsea island.
The reason why the numbers are so low is because grey squirrel are a carrier species for the Squirrelpox virus (SQPV). It shows no symptoms in greys but is fatal in reds. It is estimated that the loss of red squirrels in Britain has happened 20 times faster than it would have done had squirrel pox not been a factor (FAQ – Cornwall Red Squirrel Project). Secondary grey squirrel are simply larger than reds, and due to behaviour differences increase their weight at a much higher rate. Due to this the two cannot co-exist and has such the Cornwall Red Squirrel Project propose a cull of all grey squirrels
As always the show is live, we do welcome call-ins from listeners to add their comments. I would really like it if we could get someone to call-in and talk to us, let us know what you think.
If you would like to say something but are busy at that time or don’t want to talk on air then I am also looking for contributions from people on here. Remember you can always leave me a message below or chat to us on twitter @thegreenfm