Squirrel helpers nominated

By Richard Wright

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Squirrel helpers nominated

One of the Isle of Wight's red squirrels. Picture by Chris Thwaites.

FRIENDS of red squirrels on the Isle of Wight have been nominated for prestigious awards.

Supporters of the Wight Squirrel Project (WSP) — Canon Michael Hodge, of Yarmouth, Mike Evans, of Yafford, and Bob and Jacquie Wilson, of Seaview, have been nominated for the national charity Red Squirrel Survival Trust’s 2014 Volunteer Awards.

They are in the unsung hero category, which celebrates volunteers who work behind the scenes on red squirrel projects.

Canon Hodge has written two special computer programmes to aid essential recording for the project. Mike Evans helps to man the WSP stand at numerous Island shows and community events, where his feeders and nesting boxes are sold.

Since rescuing two abandoned baby squirrels — kittens — 30 years ago, Jacquie Wilson, with the help of her husband, Bob, has been hand rearing orphans and caring for young, sick and injured reds for WSP.

The four awards are designed to recognise the work of the 3,000 volunteers who give up their time to red squirrel conservation.

Winners, and those who have nominated them, will be invited to a presentation ceremony in the summer, where certificates and prizes will help celebrate the contribution they have made to saving an iconic member of the UK’s wildlife.

Reporter: richardw@iwcpmail.co.uk


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Displaying the last 10 of 28 comments - Show All Comments

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by Colin Russell

24th February 2014, at 17:44:32

Lee, after you have looked up "toxoplasma" answer that one . :-}

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by James McAdder

24th February 2014, at 15:51:55

A cat would be hard pressed to catch a healthy squirrel.

the toxoplasmosis parasite mentioned by Lee has a most fascinating life-cycle. Cysts in cat faeces are taken up by mice and rats during their foraging. The cysts hatch in the rodent host and start to affect its behaviour causing the animal to show less fear and be attracted to cat urine. This essentially increases its chances of being caught and eaten by another cat, so continuing the cycle.

Though I can't remember the stats, it is possible that toxoplasma affects humans in a similar way to mice as those who indulge in extreme sports have a higher incidence of infection.

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by Mark Jones

24th February 2014, at 12:45:11

Lee, where in my response does it say that cats are the number one cause of deaths for squirrels, dormice or birds? Oh it doesn't! "A great number..." is what I said, and a great number it is. Yes compared to humans, it probably isn't that great, but then again, when did you see a cat helping a squirrel? I have no doubt that you will come up with something, you usually do. Being a know it all must be so frustrating when you are surrounded by people who don't share your superior and vast intellect!

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by Mark Jones

24th February 2014, at 10:26:01

A great number of bird, squirrel, dormouse (and so on) deaths are caused by cats. You know, those cute and cuddly things that are kept by humans but left out for hours at a time to wipe out the wildlife (and 'do their business' in your neighbours garden!)

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by Keven Ball

23rd February 2014, at 22:07:08

We have gone all the way to Scotland now? Odd when you have some so close to home... You have to love the squirrels and look after them so they can go on for many more years...

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by nigel foster

23rd February 2014, at 21:48:19

red squirrels are lovely, but black rats are uncommon, we humans do like to play God. Darwin was wrong, its now, "the survival of the cutest"

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by Peter Jeffery

23rd February 2014, at 19:53:18

I know many will know this, but this is why the Grey Squirrel poses such a risk to the Red,


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by Colin Russell

23rd February 2014, at 19:39:02

No Knowledge,?
As you say lee, its in the public domain, ie, Wildlife & Countryside Act, Natural England
Wildlife laws RSPB, they are the laws laid down for poaching traping killing, etc, i know there are wildlife police officer,s that do a good job but sadly not enough of them.

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by Colin Russell

23rd February 2014, at 16:50:00

Lee "educate me"

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by Keven Ball

23rd February 2014, at 16:47:00

It is very nice to have that Neil. I had squirrels running around my back garden in the past and they are very clever and fast! I used to see them running up the big tree with some nuts most mornings before work.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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