Save Havannah Nature Reserve's Red Squirrels
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Havannah Nature Reserve is the last known site of breeding red squirrels in Newcastle - the only city in England with an urban population of this legally protected species - but proposals for hundreds of houses directly opposite now threaten this essential breeding ground.
Land around the reserve currently acts as a buffer between grey and red squirrels but hundreds of houses with gardens will encourage grey squirrels – which carry the deadly poxvirus and outcompete reds for food. If the plans are approved grey squirrels would quickly colonise the reserve, killing the red population.
The only way to save Havannah’s reds would then be a grey culling programme, which many do not agree with, so it would be difficult to enforce. It would also be difficult to implement, as grey traps would likely be vandalized.
Havannah Nature Reserve provides optimum red squirrel habitat, thanks to dense areas of pine trees - an ideal food source for red squirrels.
The reserve is one of only two lowland heaths in Newcastle and provides habitat for other protected species, such as Great Crested Newt, badgers, bats and the increasingly rare Dingy Skipper butterfly. Increased predation from domestic cats and dogs will severely disrupt the rich biodiversity of this important wildlife habitat.
There have already been over 450 objections to the plans.
Please help the reds in their hour of need and sign the petition to send the message to Newcastle City Council that building here is just not on.
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