Anglesey is home to 600-700 red squirrels; the largest and most genetically diverse population in Wales. Historically the island contained 3000 grey squirrels but these were removed through a systematic trapping program. In 2013 only a single animal was found on the island.
In parallel with grey squirrel eradication, work is being carried out to establish additional woodland habitat on the Anglesey and to develop the socio-economic value of red squirrels to the local tourism industry. With red squirrels now a common feature of broadleaved parkland and gardens, there are now many opportunities to see red squirrels in the wild and a network of volunteers is managing over 150 supplemental feeding stations.
Scientists from Bangor University are currently monitoring causes of mortality in the islands red squirrels and developing population ecology models that may help inform red squirrel conservation elsewhere in the UK. Parallel research in Gwynedd on Adenovirus and Squirrel pox virus research is helping to illuminate how infections are spread and how these viral particles may persist in the wider woodland environment.
The Anglesey and Gwynedd conservation program are managed by Dr Craig Shuttleworth, Conservation Advisor to Red Squirrel Survival Trust.