Wednesday 10 October 2012
Poor little red squirrels, not only do they have to dodge the traffic but they now have to contend with a new menace on their doorstep at Mount Stewart. A grey squirrel was spotted this week near the tractor shed. These are a great threat to the red squirrels not only because they compete for food, but, more seriously, they carry squirrel pox. This is not fatal to the greys but it is to the reds.
The red squirrel is protected by law and the National Trust is an active member of the Northern Ireland Red Squirrel Forum and Mount Stewart is a Red Squirrel Sanctuary. Mount Stewart is one of the most important remaining refuges and one of the best places to spot them. There is great consternation at Mount Stewart and we have all been asked to report any sightings of grey squirrels so action can be taken to address this threat to our native red squirrel.