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Incidence of red squirrels highlighted

Posted 11 January 2010
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Incidence of red squirrels highlighted
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Red squirrels have been highlighted as a creature where conservation work is needed to aid the survival of the species this year.

Natural England has noted that only 140,000 of the native creatures live in the UK now, compared with 2.5 million grey squirrels, which were imported from North America and have driven them out of much of the country.

One reason for this is that the greys carry squirrel pox, which is harmless to them but fatal to reds.

Those who want to don men's outdoor clothing or women's outdoor clothing and see reds are most likely to do so in parts of northern England or Scotland, including pine forests.

Reds are extinct in the south of the mainland but exist on Brownsea Island and the Isle of Wight.

Northern sites include the National Trust reserve at Formby on Merseyside.

Those who want to go walking in this area can also see the rare natterjack toad in the spring.

Posted by Dan Mirza