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  Red squirrels are fighting back
Updated 22 September 2004, 10.36
A red squirrel
Red squirrels are starting to fight off their grey rivals in a forest on an island in North Wales.

23 red squirrels have been born this year on Anglesey and because of this controversial plans to fell 100 hectares of forest have been scrapped.

A spokesperson for the Anglesey Red Squirrel project said he was delighted with the births this year.

He said: "Some were born in the wild and some in captivity and have now been released into the wild."

A red squirrel

Five years ago, there were fewer than 40 red squirrels on the whole of Anglesey.

The Anglesey project is backed by the European Squirrel Initiative and its spokesman said the work on the island had "nationwide significance".

He said: "It proves that if we can rid our forests of the alien grey squirrel, it is possible for the native reds to re-establish themselves.

"The grey squirrel has now colonised 90% of England and Wales and is widespread in Scotland."

Across Britain, there are about 2.5 million greys and only 60,000 reds.

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