Thursday, October 11, 2007

Secret Squirrels: Profusion of grey matter sparks red alert

Any visitor to London’s parks can’t fail to notice the abundance of squirrels - or more specifically grey squirrels, the foreign invader imported from America in the 19th century to embellish urban parkland - as opposed to its smaller relative the native European red squirrel, an increasingly rare species in these isles. Now only confined to a few remote areas in England, the red squirrel is also under threat across the Irish Sea.
RTE reports on the findings of the Irish Squirrel Survey 2007 which confirms that the grey’s rise is at the expense of the red. According to the survey the grey variety has spread to west of the Shannon to areas it was previously absent from. The red is now supposedly extinct in four eastern counties and could be endangered by a virus.

It’s reassuring to see that at least in parts of continental Europe the red trumps the grey.

Not quite the only grey in the village - a red squirrel in Prague mingles with the tourists (Picture by Aiden Fitzsimons)

1 comment:

Lady Fotherington-Smethers said...

Isn't the red squirrel a sweetie? But the grey ones are also very cute!!! I think we should just leave them to fight for the territory.