Let's Save Forests

Let's save red squirrel habitats
It's an absolute cynicism for the UK Forestry Commission on one hand to spend millions of pounds for killing tens of thousands of grey squirrels under the pretense of "saving red squirrels" and on the other hand to do completely nothing about lasting for years wide-scale and common destruction of red squirrel habitats without leaving even small forested area that would give animals a chance to migrate from the area where tree cutting is planned on a large scale. Such tree felling policy leads not only to red squirrels quickly dying out in the area but also – especially if it's done during the period of squirrel females nursing their babies – to starvation of hundreds, if not thousands on the whole country scale, of red baby squirrels.
The lack of action from the Forestry Commission is even more surprising considering that the scientists and environmentalists have been saying for years that red squirrels are more demanding when it comes to the habitat and far less "mobile" than their grey cousins – grey squirrels can use more types of food than red squirrels and move across great distances (even tens of miles a year) if necessary.
Without changing the current laws regarding tree cutting in the areas inhabited by red squirrels any other conservation works to stop the decline in red squirrels population simply start to lose any sense.
The basic procedures which need to be made effective in the areas where red squirrels live with the goal to reduce population mortality caused by habitat loss (or a significant reduction in habitat coverage)
We appeal to the Forestry Commission to introduce in the areas inhabited by red squirrels at least such basic procedures – which don't require much financial investement – as:
1. A rule must be absolutely introduced that requires all woodland owners conducting large-scale "tree felling" in the area inhabited by red squirrels to leave a "corridor" that would give at least some animals from the large-scale tree felling area a chance to migrate to other areas instead of, as it usually happens currently, dying from starvation.
2. In the areas inhabited by red squirrels a complete ban on tree felling must be introduced in the "breeding season" (end of February – end of May; August – October) because sudden loss of habitat in the nursing period leads to even tens of thousands of red squirrel babies being starved to death every year.
3. If there is a necessity for large-scale tree felling in the area inhabited by red squirrels, the woodland owner should conduct an analysis of the red squirrel population size that would be endangered by the habitat loss before any operations take place. If a big population loss is predicted the decision about tree felling should be made in conjunction with animal welfare and woodland management organisations.
4. In the area where a significant reduction of red squirrel habitat is planned, a strategy to move as many animals as possible must be prepared and implemented before any tree felling operations take place.
All the above listed actions should be absolutely supported by red squirrel conservation groups
Considering the current scale of tree felling in the UK and the fact that such work is not preceded by even basic – mentioned above – procedures aimed at the protection of red squirrel population we can estimate that every year due to habitat loss even tens of thousands of red squirrels can die (from hunger, stress and exhaustion).