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The red squirrel.

* Fur colour varies from bright ginger to red and dark brown.

* Body length is between 18cms and 24cm and tail is 17cm. Adults weigh 350g.

* Reds spend 75pc of their active time in trees and shrubs, while greys feed more at ground level.

* Reds' main foods are conifer seeds, hazel nuts, tree flowers and shoots, mushrooms and fungi.

* Females have one or two litters a year, of two to three young.

* Lifespan is up to six years.

* Northumberland, and especially Kielder Forest, is now the last major population base for reds in the country.

* Reds are protected by law.

* The Red Alert campaign to save the native squirrel was launched in the North-East in 1992 after predictions that the species could be extinct in England in 30 years.

* A red squirrel conservation officer is now working with Northumberland Wildlife Trust to help protect the animal.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2004
Words:145
Previous Article:Squirrel fears put North on red alert.
Next Article:The grey squirrel.


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