November 2013

Rare Red Squirrels Get New Home

a red squirrela red squirrel

a red squirrel
A red squirrel gathers food in a grassy meadow.

The red squirrel is a favorite animal in Britain and Ireland. It is also one of the most endangered animals in those countries. “Endangered” means it is in danger of dying out. Groups across the region are working to protect the red squirrels. People at the British Wildlife Centre have started a new project to help them survive.

The project is working to keep red squirrels away from gray squirrels. Many gray squirrels carry a disease that the red squirrels can’t fight off. This disease could wipe out the red squirrels if they are not protected.

In September, a group of 20 red squirrels were carried away by navy helicopter to a new home. They were placed in special travel boxes with plenty of food and water for the trip. The helicopter flew the red squirrels to Tresco Abbey Gardens on Tresco Island. Tresco is part of a group of islands called the Isles of Scilly. They are located off the southwestern coast of Britain.

Tresco Abbey Gardens is a good home for the red squirrels. The gardens have trees and plants from all over the world. There are even pine trees from California. This means there is plenty of food for the red squirrels. They love to eat the seeds inside pinecones. Most important of all, they are safe on the island. They are far away from the gray squirrels and the disease they carry.

Image credit: ©David & Micha Sheldon/Getty Images

Related Link

Question 1
How many red squirrels were flown to Tresco Island?

Question 2
What do red squirrels love to eat?

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