Red squirrel population boosted at Carnfunnock

Belfast Zoo will mark national Red Squirrel Awareness Week with the release of red squirrels at Carnfunnock Country Park.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 5:10 pm
Belfast Zoo will mark national Red Squirrel Awareness Week with the release of red squirrels at Carnfunnock Country Park.

Despite being present for more than 10,000 years, red squirrels have declined dramatically due to loss of habitat and diseases spread by the invasive grey squirrel.

Zoo Manager, Alyn Cairns said: “We have had an exceptional year with our red squirrels.

“Two squirrels will be released at Carnfunnock Country Park, a site which saw the successful release of several red squirrels from the zoo last year.

“The squirrels will be managed by Ballygally & District Biodiversity Group, who have been working tirelessly for the past five years to raise awareness around the issues facing reds and have been an active partner in the special breeding programme led by Belfast Zoo.”

Joe Dowdall, Senior Red Squirrel Ranger with the Ballygally Biodiversity Group added: “The group are very pleased to co-operate again with Belfast Zoo and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in furthering the red quirrel re-introduction program in Carnfunnock Country Park and Chaines Wood. The additional red squirrels are most welcome and will join the other four reds successfully released last year.”

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