Another example of the innumerable benefits of working collaboratively with other organisations this time comes from BASC (the British Association of Shooting and Conservation). Hamish Profit was until recently the Biodiversity Officer Wales with BASC, and has been attending Mid Wales Red Squirrel Partnership meetings. At the last meeting he brought with him a thermal imaging camera which they have used for various surveys. We arranged to meet, again in the Clywedog, where we visited sites where we suspected dreys. We didn’t manage to find any new dreys, but we were able to confirm that the drey within the coupe that is going to be felled did have an animal inside it. While it isn’t possible from a thermal camera to distinguish between a grey squirrel, red squirrel or small pine marten, our trail cameras in the area had not picked up any greys or pine martens, so we can be confident this was a red squirrel. We have passed this onto NRW and are pleased we’ve managed to secure protection for this squirrel.
We are sad to hear that the funding for Hamish’s role has ended. We are hopeful that soon BASC will find funding to continue roles such as this.