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Red Squirrel reintroduction programme > Barn Owls > Bird Surveys > Alien Species

Red Squirrel reintroduction programme:

The red squirrel population and range in the UK is shrinking and if urgent steps are not taken to address the issue, the red squirrels may disappear within a generation. BEM Ltd is working closely with the Red Squirrel Survival Trust (RSST) to support Red Squirrels. The decline in red squirrels is caused by loss of habitat, competition with non-native grey squirrels and exposure to squirrel pox which is fatal in red squirrels but not in grey squirrels.

Grey squirrel control on the Estate began in 1998 and following extensive monitoring, none are now present. (On Anglesey pockets of grey squirrels now remain concentrated around the Menai and Britannia bridges and the Menai Strait) The red squirrels have bred successfully over the last few years and it is encouraging to see numbers increasing.

For further details on the plight of red squirrels and the work that is being done by the Red Squirrel Survival Trust, please see their website www.rsst.org.uk  

red squirrel reintroduction programme

Barn Owls

South West Anglesey has a resident population underpinned by suitable habitat, abundant food sources and a lack of major roads (they are vulnerable to being hit by traffic).

The Estate has been participating in Barn Owl surveys since 1980 and have been working with various organisations such as CCW, and British Trust for Ornithology. Nest boxes are installed and monitored in various locations throughout the Estate.

Additional information can be found on the Internet from:

Bird Surveys:

BEM Ltd have been working with the British Trust for Ornithology since 2008, participating in the North Wales Breeding Bird Atlas 2008 to 2011, which has carried out surveys twice a year throughout this period. http://www.northwalesbirdatlas.co.uk/

The bird coverage survey pictured right can be seen by clicking here. where you will be taken to the North Wales Bird Atlas for the most recent survey.

This Atlas, running for a total of 4 years, has collected data to produce the first ever Breeding Bird Atlas for North Wales. The BTO commented "The populations and distributions of Britain's birds are in a constant state of flux as changes in the habitats and climate impact all aspects of their life cycle. By monitoring where, when and in what numbers our birds are using the variety of habitats and resources within North Wales we can hope to understand these impacts.

To find out more about birds on and around Anglesey please have a look at the following links:

Alien Species:

BEM Ltd is leading the initiative to eradicate alien species such as Himalayan Balsam (and Japanese Knotweed), on Anglesey to enable native flora and fauna to flourish. BEM Ltd is working with The Conservation Volunteers, the Environment Agency, CCW, Anglesey CC, RSPB and other private landowners. Co-ordination with other parties is essential for widespread commitment to clearance of these species. Without clearance, these species colonise rapidly and smother all native plants, creating dense monocultures. The invasive nature of this plant is accelerated because it doesn't have the species from its native home to keep it in check. These plants need to be eradicated before the seed pods have formed to give long term benefit.

BEM Ltd is also supporting the Mentor Mon led initiative to control the alien species American mink. This highly efficient predator devastates water vole colonies and has spread from the mainland. Trapping by using mink rafts takes place in carefully targeted sites on the Estate in compliance with approved guidelines. Water voles are vulnerable to predation but also require suitable habitat which exists in multiple key sites across the Estate. The Tir Gofal scheme has as one of its goals the creation and maintenance of suitable water vole habitat. Water voles are a useful indicator of water and habitat quality. Sadly a rare site these days they were of course the inspiration for "Ratty" and the Wind in the Willows story written by Kenneth Grahame". Where suitable habitat exists and mink are not present re-introduction schemes can be successful and may be considered if the current range of these endearing creatures does not extend sufficiently

      Owls in Wales      British Trust for Ornithology