Newry Mourne and Down District Council and the Ring of Gullion Partnership, as members of the Ring of Gullion and Cooley Red Squirrel Group, would like to thank Slieve Gullion Credit Union in Forkhill for their generous donation of four bags of Red Squirrel food.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said, “I would like to thank the Credit Union for their generously and also all the Volunteers who manage the feeders and feeding areas. They are doing an amazing job giving up their time to help the endangered Red Squirrel species in this area.”
Cllr Mulgrew continued, “This food donation will be used in a number the group’s Red Squirrel Feeders across Slieve Gullion Forest. The feeders are Northern Ireland Red Squirrel Forum (NIRSF) approved metal feeders which enable controlled hygiene, to help minimise the risk of spreading diseases, such as the deadly pox virus. This disease can blight the Red Squirrel species, wiping a population out. The metal feeders also combat against attacks, by bigger animals trying to get the food. Wooden feeders would be destroyed by these animals, and also help the spread of disease, if contaminated.”
Cllr Mulgrew added, “Red Squirrels are facing a difficult time in recent years due to competition from the grey squirrel and the disease they carry, traffic accidents, fragmentation and loss of suitable habitat. It is very important for members of the public, who see Red or Grey Squirrels or Pine Martens to report their sightings on the Ring of Gullion website. I would everyone to visit the website as reported sightings will enable the group to provide figures to encourage more action to take place. The reported sightings, also provide justification for extra funding for feeders and food.”
For further information on donations, volunteering and how to get involved with the Red Squirrel Group visit www.ringofgullion.org or contact Crossmaglen Community Centre, O’Fiaich Square, Crossmaglen, BT35 9AA Tel: 028 3082 8590.