The Guardian view on controlling grey squirrels: a question of balance | Editorial
New methods for tackling their spread hold out hope for more humane management of habitatsAs anyone in mainland Britain who has ever attempted to grow berries or nuts - or indeed feed the birds - will know, doing so is tantamount to an opening move in a game of chess with local grey squirrels, a game the squirrels tend to win. Grey squirrels are also partial to the occasional bird's egg or fledgling, and enjoy stripping and eating the bark of young broadleaf trees, which can either kill the trees or leave them open to infection. This, quite apart from affecting biodiversity and landscape, harms the timber industry. The loss - in damaged timber, lost carbon revenue and tree replacements - is not insignificant: ?37m a year in England and Wales.Greys (Sciurus carolinensis), introduced from North America in 1876, have almost replaced native red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) by outcompeting their British counterparts for food and habitat. They are larger and more robust, and immune to squirrelpox, while reds are not. About 3 million grey squirrels now live in the UK; the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the grey squirrel among the top 100 most harmful invasive species in the world. Continue reading...
Celý článek: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/17/the-guardian-view-on-controlling-grey-squirrels-a-question-of-balance
Zdroj: The Guardian
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