In some parts of the country, red squirrels depend on mad-made conifer forests where they have an advantage over grey squirrels as they are better adapted to eat the seeds of pine cones. But the great success story of the conifer plantations is the goshawk. Made extinct in Britain in the late 19th century, this bird of prey has been reintroduced and there are now nearly 500 pairs, mostly in Wales. The problem for some people is that goshawks prey on black grouse. Some predatory mammals have also benefited from these conifer plantations. Pine martens, for example, have made a slow but steady comeback over the last fifty years, as have wild cats since conifer stands provide an ideal habitat for their prey - voles and small birds.
Available since: Mon 19 Dec 2011
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