51 Leicester Road Hinckley Leicestershire LE10 1LW

Email: enquiries@fairfieldvets.co.uk

Fairfield Pet Stories

Fairfield Veterinary surgeons Terry Dunne and Geraldine Young write "Interesting Pet Stories" articles for the Hinckley Herald, published by the Hinckley Times.

View our Pet Stories below from dogs, cats and all kinds of other pets and wildlife. The stories are all genuine cases from the Fairfield archives.
Warning: Some images may be upsetting for some viewers.

View our archive Pet Stories Here

"Red" - Red Squirrel. thoughts on Indigenous Wildlife

Whilst playing golf in Scotland earlier in the year I had an unexpected surprise. After hooking my tee shot into the woods on the 7th hole (not unexpected!) I ventured into the undergrowth to search for my ball when I came upon a red squirrel, the first time I have ever seen one in the wild!

By chance I had my camera in my bag and was able to capture the image above. As an added bonus I also managed to find my ball!

Our native red squirrel has largely disappeared from its natural range in the UK over the last 50 years. This is mainly as a result of the spread of the introduced grey squirrel which is better able to live in most broadleaved and mixed woodland areas. In addition to displacing the native species they frequently cause damage to woodlands by stripping bark from the main stem and branches of trees. Despite this they remain a popular feature in many woodland parks and gardens and consequently it is not practical to attempt to eradicate grey squirrels in areas where they are already established.Active trapping and other control methods do occur in areas where there is significant bark stripping damage or where the red squirrel is considered at risk of competition or contracting the fatal pox virus Consequently, red squirrels are protected under the law whereas it is illegal for anyone to release a grey squirrel once captured.

In the Galapagos islands, where the local economy is almost entirely dependant on the preservation of indigenous species to attract tourists, there is a much more aggressive approach to conservation.

Over the years the giant tortoise has become extinct on a number of the smaller islands partly through overgrazing by goats. This threat to the unique flora and fauna of this archipelago has meant that hunters are encouraged through financial reward to eradicate certain species including goats, rats and even blackbirds!

Having recently returned from these fantastic islands I can bear witness to the success of these conservation strategies as evidenced by the tremendous opportunity to see very close up a wide variety of unique animal and avian species.

Photos of my recent excursion will appear on our website. . . if and when my luggage finally turns up!

Terry Dunne
BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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How to find us

Fairfield Veterinary Centre

51 Leicester Road,
Hinckley,
Leicestershire
LE10 1LW

Tel: 01455 637 642
Fax: 01455 631 898

enquiries@fairfieldvets.co.uk

Emergency Number
0116 255 6360

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