11th May 2015

Mooney Goes Wild in Slieve Gullion Forest Park

Mooney Goes Wild in Slieve Gullion Forest Park to chat to Therese Hamill about red Squirrels

Derek Mooney and his team from his radio show Mooney Goes Wild came for a visit in Slieve Gullion Forest Park a few weeks ago. They were visiting to talk about the Ring of Gullion and Cooley Red Squirrel group and its work with Dr Dave Tosh, Quercus ecologist at Queens University.

Listen back to the interview, which was played on yesterday’s (10-May-2015) show.

Pine Martens & Red Squirrels

These days glimpsing the brilliant russet flash of the native red squirrel is a rare and wonderful thing. But it was once a common sight in this country. That was until the American grey squirrel was introduced here at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was presented as a gift at a wedding in Castle Forbes in County Longford.
The subsequent invasion of the pesky grey led to a virtual collapse of our native red squirrel population, a trend that continued for decades.

More recently, however, experts have been encouraged by a change in that trend which could lead to the native red squirrel making a comeback. And it’s all down to the help of an unlikely ally: the predatory pine marten. This development is being studied by researchers from Quercus, an initiative of Queens University in Belfast, dedicated to promoting research in biodiversity and conservation science.

To find out more, Derek went along with our wildlife expert, Richard Collins, to the woodlands of Slieve Gullion Forest Park in Newry. There they met Dr David Tosh, the Quercus ecologist at Queens University, who’s leading this latest research. Also there was Therese Hamill, who is Project Officer for a cross-border band of volunteers called the ‘Ring of Gullion and Cooley Red Squirrel Group’…


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