|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Sciurus vulgaris is the UK's only native squirrel. Reds live in a variety of woodlands, conifer, deciduous and mixed broadleaved forests. They eat nuts and seeds,fungi,flowers and plant shoots and even insects. Contrary to popular belief, they do not hibernate and in fact early winter is the time when food is most abundant for them. Reds produce their first litter of kits during March and if they have a good summer with plentiful food then they can produce a further litter, each consisting of 3/4 young. There are probably only about 160,000 reds left in the UK being outnumbered by the introduced North America Grey by about 66:1! Grey squirrels carry the deadly squirrelpox virus which they appear to be immune to but reds are susceptible and will die a slow painfull death in 2 weeks if not treated within the first few days of infection. Transmission is not yet fully understood but cleanliness of garden feeders is of paramount importance. This particular red was taken at Wallington Hall, a National Trust property in Northumberland. For more information on red squirrels and where to see them visit www.saveoursquirrels.org.uk|
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