Fears for red squirrels after suspected case of pox virus
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.”