New ally for red squirrels

Red squirrelThe British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) has become a signatory to the UK Squirrel Accord with the aim of helping to protect and expand the red squirrel population in the UK.

Other organisations in the Accord include the RSPB, DEFRA and the National Trust.

BASC is emphasising the importance of controlling the invasive, non-native grey squirrel population as a means of protecting the native reds. Controlling grey numbers will also help limit damage caused by bark stripping; it is estimated that such grey squirrel activity causes in excess of £14million to forested estates in the UK every year.

“We welcome BASC joining the Accord as people who shoot are central to the control of grey squirrels,” said Adrian Vass, manager for the UK Squirrel Accord. “With the development of BASC’s grey squirrel control clubs and the ability of BASC and the UK Squirrel Accord to generate trust with landowners, we are keen to see more targeted control of grey squirrels to benefit wildlife and woodlands for everyone.”

“We are delighted to sign the UK Squirrel Accord because its aims mirror our own,” said Tim Russell, BASC director for conservation. “We look forward to working with the Accord and other partners to enhance the already considerable contribution that shooting provides to protect woodlands and its wildlife like red squirrels.”

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One comment on “New ally for red squirrels
  1. Les Wallace says:

    I hope BASC does its bit in helping the red squirrel by acknowledging the role of another native mammal, the pine marten, in its return. The grey squirrel only became established due to the absence via persecution of the pine marten as part of ‘pest control’ in the first place. The red co-existed and co-evolved with the pine marten over tens of thousands of year, the grey didn’t. The grey is now retreating where the marten returns http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/22/red-squirrel-pine-marten-survival I hope the BASC asks its members to appreciate the pine marten as a native mammal as much as the red squirrel is and help its return by laying off illegal persecution which they wouldn’t do anyway and consider creating artificial denning sites as the absence of large and old trees, important for so much wildlife means they can struggle re resting and raising young.

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