Warn­ing for wildlife af­ter Brexit

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - NEWS -

baby trapped in the back. But this was our first snake search… and it was to last three days.”

The il­lu­sive rep­tile had hid­den her­self in a cor­ner be­hind the dash­board.

And her pow­ers of hide and seek were prov­ing hard to beat.

Ian left food out for her but even that failed to coax her out.

Af­ter fail­ing to lo­cate her, Ian called Snap-on tool hire spe­cial­ist, Thomas Irvine.

He supplied a mi­cro in­spec­tion de­vice called a bore­sope … thin as a lollipop stick, with a tiny cam­era at the end.

It was teased and flexed into tiny crevices un­der the bon­net.

Af­ter three days of prob­ing, search­ing and scop­ing the il­lu­sive Magic was found curled up in a sealed box in the car’s ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem.

Ian then man­aged to coax her out with some food.

She was cold and ter­ri­fied af­ter four nights in the car.

The hunt for Magic had seen the car’s con­sul, glove box, lower dash­board, in­stru­ment cluster, car­pet and heater blower mo­tor re­moved. Red squir­rels could be wiped out in Scot­land due to Brexit, un­less fund­ing and ur­gent new laws are in­tro­duced to safe­guard vi­tal con­ser­va­tion work, a group of 30 lead­ing char­i­ties has warned.

The stark warn­ing comes from the group of char­i­ties, who claim that red squir­rels, as well as other rare an­i­mals like sea mam­mals and some birds of prey, are at risk of ex­tinc­tion un­less ac­tion is taken to pro­tect Scot­land’s en­vi­ron­ment when the UK leaves Europe.

The Scot­tish En­vi­ron­ment Link (SEL) union of con­ser­va­tion groups are call­ing for legally bind­ing mea­sures to safe­guard the coun­try­side, wildlife and wa­ter quality.

One of their main con­cerns is that there are cur­rently no plans to re­place the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s Life-na­ture Fund, which has given £25 mil­lion to Scot­land in the past 25 years to help with 25 con­ser­va­tion pro­jects.

Charles Dun­das, chair­man of SEL, said: “Scot­land has hugely ben­e­fited from EU fund­ing and pro­tec­tions with the LIFE Fund alone sup­port­ing con­ser­va­tion pro­jects.

“If and when Brexit hap­pens, Scot­land – along with the rest of the UK – will lose the un­ri­valled sup­port of EU bod­ies and fund­ing.

“With only months to go, this poses a se­ri­ous threat to our frag­ile and pre­cious nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.”

Red squir­rels have al­ready suf­fered due to a loss of habi­tat, dis­ease and com­pe­ti­tion from non-na­tive greys.

AD­VICE

Jim spent four days look­ing for Magic the snake Red squir­rels are at risk

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