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Red Squirrels
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 27-10-2001 23:51    Post subject: Red Squirrels Reply with quote

What is the story re Red Squirrels in Britain?

I remember when I was a kid reading, seeing on the tv or somewhere that the original squirrel inhabitants of the British Isles were gradually driven out of England by their more hardcore grey cousins.

My partner swears blind that she saw a red and a grey one co-existing happily together in our local park!
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2001 12:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably wishful thinking unfortunately.

Red squirrels are most common in the north of Scotland with limited populations in the far north of England and Wales and a couple of isolated pockets elsewhere (the Isle of Wight, I think, and Norfolk). I’ve seen them in Cumbria and the Highlands of Scotland. Grey squirrels were your original alien-grey invaders coming from North America some time in the 1800's. The two species are territorially exclusive but I think that I've read somewhere that there is a genetic mutation in grey squirrels that can give their coat a reddish tinge, which might explain what your partner saw.

On a scarier note wasn't there a story in the Fortean Times a while ago about rats and squirrels interbreeding? I think the Archway area was mentioned.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 28-10-2001 15:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in the midwestern US there is a genetic mutation that produces a reddish tinge in gray squirrels.I,however,have grave doubts about interbreeding between rats and squirrels.As I remember,so did FT.
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2001 17:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Kraut wrote:

I,however,have grave doubts about interbreeding between rats and squirrels.As I remember,so did FT.


Yes, I'm pretty sure it's an urban legend but not a nice thought all the same. I mean, where would it end - Piranha and alligators getting it on in the sewer. Imagine the little bugger that resulted from that liaison crawling up your waste-pipe!
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FelixAntoniusOffline
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PostPosted: 28-10-2001 19:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

About twenty years ago, I saw a red tinged, grey squirrel, (if you follow what I mean), by the lake at St Albans, on the site of Roman Veralanium.

One theory, as to the real Red Squirrels decline, is that by the time any one began to study them. Their real habitat had ceased to exist & they were observed in a false habitat. Therefore, any atempts to preserve them were based on false premises.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 28-10-2001 20:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure I read somewhere that red squirrels were being reintroduced to the country as a whole, but they probably wouldn't last long because the grey squirrels are bigger and stronger and wouldn't share their habitat.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 30-10-2001 13:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's supposed to be a thriving community of Red Squirrels in some sort of nature reserve on land owned by Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool.
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BreakfastologistOffline
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PostPosted: 30-10-2001 14:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are various places where Red Squirrels survive, often on islands where there are no grey squirrels or in more remote locations.

It is not clear how the grey squirrels actually harm red squirrels, though, as they do not seem to compete very much.
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marionXXXOffline
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PostPosted: 06-11-2001 18:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Removed.

Last edited by marionXXX on 09-09-2005 17:22; edited 1 time in total
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ufonerdOffline
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PostPosted: 08-11-2001 21:56    Post subject: red squirrels Reply with quote

I live just out side of durham and there are still red squirrels in the woods near me but I dont know for how long as a few months ago I saw a gray squirrel for the first time in this wood?.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 12-11-2001 13:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

I live just outside Durham as well (southwest), and our village supposedly has red and grey squirrels. I've only ever seen greys.

Newcastle seems to have greys in the city (certainly in Jesmond Dene/ Heaton park) and reds just outside the city (I've seen them near Wylam).

There's a distribution map of the two at
http://www.biology.qmw.ac.uk/squirrel/skiasqdist.html

Incidentally, the easiest place in the country to see red squirrels is probably Formby, where there are hordes of them, and they'll come up to people to be fed. This is an introduced population from Denmark, apparently, and they're a lot darker than the native reds.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 12-11-2001 13:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Letchworth, Hertfordshire is famous for its black squirrels - which are actually
a very rare mutation of the grey variety.
They were first recorded in 1944 and for some reason they seem to stay within
a four mile radius of the town centre.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 12-11-2001 15:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Denmark? Hmm, I've hardly ever seen squirrels here. But perhaps that is because I lived on an island, and they didn't want to cross the bridge.
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Anonymous
PostPosted: 12-11-2001 15:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you saw a red squirrel next to a grey squirrel you would know as they look totally different.

They don't look like they belong to the same species apart from their size being roughly the same.

Red squirrels are really red too - you couldn't confuse it with a red tinged grey squirrel.

I believe that you get black squirrels in Princeton, New Jersey too - I remember seeing them when I was over there. Very cute.
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caroleaswasOffline
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PostPosted: 12-11-2001 21:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are no grey squirrels in Jersey, only red ones.

Carole
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