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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.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 13, 2004
Previous Article:Squirrel fears put North on red alert.
Next Article:The grey squirrel.

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