A group of Red Squirrels in Ceredigion has a genetic make-up not found anywhere else in the world. The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales also says the discovery could help conservation efforts at Llandewi Brefi.
Hair samples were taken from feeding stations and DNA was extracted and analysed. The Trust says the results revealed a unique haplotype.
A haplotype is a genetic marker, a DNA sequence that can help to understand the genetic make-up and ancestry of an animal. Put simply, a haplotype is a close-knit group of genes which an offspring inherits from one parent.
The discovery means the Reds have a healthy genetic diversity so conservation efforts are more likely to be successful because having a diverse gene pool helps populations to adapt to changing environments.