Fears for red squir­rels after sus­pected case of pox virus

Western Mail - - NEWS -

THERE are fears for the red squir­rel pop­u­la­tion on An­gle­sey after one was found dead with a sus­pected case of squir­rel pox virus.

The virus is usu­ally fa­tal in red squir­rels and if it spreads it could lead to a wipe­out of the pop­u­la­tion on the is­land.

The dead squir­rel has been sent to a lab­o­ra­tory for tests and the Red Squir­rels Trust Wales are cur­rently await­ing for re­sults.

In Septem­ber test re­sults con­firmed a red squir­rel in Tre­borth Gar­dens, Ban­gor had died after con­tract­ing the squir­rel pox virus.

Holly Peek, a ranger for Red Squir­rel Trust Wales, said: “If it is pox the chances are it has spread from Tre­borth as the squir­rels can travel back and forth from the main­land. So far we’ve had one con­firmed case and two dead bod­ies which we are still await­ing the re­sults for.”

One dead squir­rel was found in Coed Mor near the Bri­tan­nia Bridge and an­other near Parc Me­nai, in Gwynedd.

The Red Squir­rel Trust Wales have been work­ing to rein­tro­duce the reds after the grey squir­rel nearly wiped out

the na­tive breed. In 1997, just 40 reds were be­lieved to be left on An­gle­sey.

Ms Peek added: “If we get the re­sults that it is a con­firmed case on An­gle­sey it would be ab­so­lutely dev­as­tat­ing. It could spread all the way up to Ce­maes.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.