Forums

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages 
Red Squirrels
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fortean Times Message Board Forum Index -> Cryptozoology - general
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
CochiseOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 17 Jun 2011
Total posts: 1840
Location: Gwynedd, Wales
Age: 59
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 27-02-2012 08:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

amyasleigh wrote:


Colourful (no pun intended) scenarios come to mind, of this becoming an issue engaging widespread passions in Britain – “squirrel wars”, with rival Red, and Grey, proponents seeking to help to prosper; and to kill; their respective favoured / non-favoured species -- and the struggle spilling over into human-on-human violence between the opposing groups...


Having grown up in an area where grey squirrels were pretty much the only wild mammals I ever saw, I'm quite fond of them. I'd be quite angry if these folks 'cull' included the pair that used to live in the tree outside my kitchen here. I only found out about it because as mentioned I saw a red squrrel about half a mile from my home and was surprised as I didn't think there were any here - freinds of mine said I should report it which is when I discovered about the whole 'culling' thing. I've seen a grey in the last few days, though, so either they missed a few or they are recolonising from adjacent grey-squirrel-friendly areas!
Back to top
View user's profile 
Fats_TuesdayOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 05 Sep 2001
Total posts: 517
Location: London
Age: 44
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 27-02-2012 15:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see how the grey squirrel control to help the reds is any different from any number of other cull programmes that take place when an introduced, invasive non-native species threatens the existence of threatened native species.

The release of grey squirrels into the wild in the UK and subsequent decimation of the red squirrel population is a man-made ecological disaster, so do we then just sit back and say "Oh well", or do we try and act ethically to prevent the reds from being wiped out?

The same goes for control of introduced minks which have decimated native water voles, introduced signal crayfish which have decimated British white-clawed crayfish, and countless other similar examples around the world.

I guess it all depends on where you stand ethically on humanity's responsibility for cleaning up its own mistakes where it can, and I for one am reluctant to base the decision to control an introduced species on its cuteness.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
Anome_Offline
Faceless Man
Joined: 23 May 2002
Total posts: 4894
Location: Left, and to the back.
Age: 46
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 27-02-2012 16:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course this is an ongoing problem in Australia. Rabbits and foxes were introduced solely for "sport", and have laid waste to entire ecosystems.

Cats were introduced as pets, and have wiped out native bird and mammal species. Despite this, attempts to establish cat free ecosystems have met with public outcry, and in some instances wilful sabotage.

Then there's the cane toad. Oddly enough, no-one has much of a problem culling them. I wonder why?

Introduced species will always be disruptive to the native ecosystem in some way. I don't know what impact Grey Squirrels have beyond displacing the Red Squirrels, but I shouldn't be surprised if it's affected a number of other species.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website 
amyasleighOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Total posts: 472
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 27-02-2012 17:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I gather (re the above post) that things have been yet more so in New Zealand; most especially after European settlement got going there (though previously, the Maori had brought dogs on purpose, and rats by accident, and trouble started). Picture being in N.Z., pre-human arrival, there had been basically birds -- most species of those flightless -- with no significant predators (other than native birds of prey? – am not sure on that point). Predatory mammals were extremely bad news for the local bird life.

The rights and wrongs of man’s intervening – and to what degree – to try to moderate the consequences of his actions in such circumstances, can be argued about ad infinitum. I personally would find it sad, if humans were to take no measures to conserve native species, “wherever”, at threat from introduced ones (assorted justifications for so doing: scholarly / emotional / practical, viz. “maximum biodiversity is good”). Am aware that there are some who take on this matter, a very hard-nosed position of “the weak go to the wall”.
Back to top
View user's profile 
oldroverOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Total posts: 2227
Location: Wales
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 27-02-2012 19:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
pre-human arrival, there had been basically birds -- most species of those flightless -- with no significant predators (other than native birds of prey? – am not sure on that point)


You're quite right about the lack of mammalian predators, except insectivorous bats of course.

What's strange is that there were indigenous mammals there at one time.
Back to top
View user's profile 
amyasleighOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Total posts: 472
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 27-02-2012 20:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mysterious "waitoreke", as treated of rather briefly and enigmatically by Heuvelmans? Or others, as of now unknown to me?
Back to top
View user's profile 
CochiseOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 17 Jun 2011
Total posts: 1840
Location: Gwynedd, Wales
Age: 59
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 28-02-2012 09:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fats_Tuesday wrote:
I don't see how the grey squirrel control to help the reds is any different from any number of other cull programmes that take place when an introduced, invasive non-native species threatens the existence of threatened native species.

The release of grey squirrels into the wild in the UK and subsequent decimation of the red squirrel population is a man-made ecological disaster, so do we then just sit back and say "Oh well", or do we try and act ethically to prevent the reds from being wiped out?

The same goes for control of introduced minks which have decimated native water voles, introduced signal crayfish which have decimated British white-clawed crayfish, and countless other similar examples around the world.

I guess it all depends on where you stand ethically on humanity's responsibility for cleaning up its own mistakes where it can, and I for one am reluctant to base the decision to control an introduced species on its cuteness.


Protecting the areas that still have Red squirrels is a different matter.

What is going on here is a man made attempt to replace the established Greys with Reds. Why don't we replace ourselves with Neanderthals? They were here first, in all probability.

You say 'man-made ecological disaster'. That's vastly overstating the case. One slightly fitter and stronger species has replaced another closely related species over much of the country, but it hasn't even totally replaced the Red, and itself is being challenged by Black squirrels. If the Grey hadn't been introduced deliberatly, it would likely be here soon anyway since it is spreading west and south across Europe.

This is not on the scale of cane toads or rabbits in Australia which are cases of introduction of a totally alien species.

Your code of ethics seems to assume that you have the right to kill an animal because you think its in the wrong place. My code says that killing an animal is killing an animal whether you call it a 'cull' or a 'hunt' or just 'lunch'. It should be done only out of necessity, not out of some fanciful notion of what is 'right'.
Back to top
View user's profile 
oldroverOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Total posts: 2227
Location: Wales
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 28-02-2012 12:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was thinking of this one;

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn10773-fossils-reveal-new-zealands-indigenous-mouse.html
Back to top
View user's profile 
amyasleighOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Total posts: 472
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 28-02-2012 21:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. V. interesting -- not a creature expected to be found hiding out in any remote corner of the bush, though !
Back to top
View user's profile 
amyasleighOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Total posts: 472
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 10-11-2012 15:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

I being seemingly the chief red-squirrel fan on this sub-forum (though not the initiator of the thread, and a little bemused as to how a species which indubitably exists, got into the "Cryptozoology" category); will "carry on as before".

I seldom see television; but happened to catch a few of the recent daily-broadcast "Autumnwatch" series, transmitted from a location in the Scottish Highlands, and featuring various fascinating local fauna, including red squirrels -- the grey kind have not yet penetrated that far north. There was interesting discussion about the red-versus-grey-squirrel situation in Britain; an element new to me, which was mentioned, concerned squirrels' gathering in autumn of nuts, and burying "hoards" of them (and per folklore, then forgetting where they've buried them).

I learned that studies by biologists have revealed that grey squirrels are significantly better at recalling the location of, and recovering, their nut-hoards; than are red squirrels. Thus, yet another point in favour of the alien grey squirrel, letting it successfully compete with and oust, the native British red -- after the winter, red squirrels tend to be less well-nourished and weaker, and in a less good position to breed, than their grey rivals. I feel torn about this whole matter: in part, regretting the decline of the more lovable native red squirrel in the face of competition from the introduced American species; in part, feeling as per Darwinian principles, that the (in various ways -- this latest, just one of several) weaker and less fit species deserves, under competition, to go to the wall.
Back to top
View user's profile 
oldroverOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 18 Oct 2009
Total posts: 2227
Location: Wales
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 10-11-2012 16:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to worry the Welsh pine martens will save the day.
Back to top
View user's profile 
amyasleighOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Total posts: 472
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 10-11-2012 16:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldrover wrote:
Not to worry the Welsh pine martens will save the day.

The martens are the boys, for sure -- lighter red squirrels up top, on the more slender branches -- heavier martens, and grey squirrels, lower down, martens perform great feats of execution among the grey squirrels -- "way to go !"
Back to top
View user's profile 
lkb3rdOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Total posts: 301
Location: CT. USA
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 11-11-2012 22:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
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.


There is a town near here in Connecticut called Shelton which has a population of black colored Grey Squirrels, as well as white.
http://www.damnedct.com/white-squirrels-shelton/
Back to top
View user's profile 
amyasleighOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Total posts: 472
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 21-01-2013 19:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

As seemingly the forum's chief red-squirrel-nut -- am submitting herewith, dispatch from the Isle of Wight front. I visited the island last week -- including a trip to the nature reserve on the island, mentioned in my 21/2/2012 post on this thread, where some degree of habituation is done by leaving out food for the squirrels. On my visit on Jan. 17th (the day before the "big snow"), for the three-quarters-of-hour I was there, red-squirrel action was plentiful -- a dozen or so sightings of what must, I reckon, have been at least three or four different animals. Trotting / climbing busily around, visiting the feeding-spots -- not tame enough to take from my hands, nuts which I had brought along; but I was within feet of them.

One is advised, if wishing for IOW squirrel encounters, to go to hoped-for venues in the first, or last, hours of daylight. Some months ago, I visited the "habituated" reserve told of above; but, around lunchtime -- "not hide nor hair" of a squirrel -- and not much bird activity. On Jan. 17th last, I made sure to call in, in the last couple of hours of daylight, on a miserable, grey day -- and squirrels were there in abundance.
Back to top
View user's profile 
amyasleighOffline
Great Old One
Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Total posts: 472
Gender: Unknown
PostPosted: 10-04-2013 18:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the forum's (I feel) designated-and-only red-squirrel-junkie -- am reporting herewith, from latest of frequent visits to the Isle of Wight. Most of week after Easter 2013 spent on the Island, with relatives -- objective, a round-island walk, with squirrels only secondary thereto.

Nonetheless -- it so happened that the holiday cottage at which we stayed, was extremely close to the nature reserve, in the eastern half of the island, in which squirrels have been, for the past couple of years, habituated. When we were setting out by car early one morning, to the start of the day's walk, the occupant of the "first car of the cavalcade" briefly spotted a red squirrel -- likely, he thought, two of them -- couldn't swear to the second.

Another day, back to base early, we went in the last couple of hours of daylight, to the reserve's understood bird-hide with secondary role as "squirrel central". After some minutes' suspense (lots of varied birds around, but...), we were rewarded with the arrival of a gorgeous red squirrel. Completely unafraid of people, he ran past us along the handrail paralleling the walkway to the hide -- thence many minutes' antics on a hung-up bird-feeder, and in and out of the hide; after which he ran into the undergrowth. Not long after, more of a similar performance by a red squirrel which might have been the first one, or might have been another. "Whichever" -- count self very satisfied red-squirrel-wise, by recent experience.
Back to top
View user's profile 
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Fortean Times Message Board Forum Index -> Cryptozoology - general All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9  Next
Page 6 of 9

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group