Friday, 5 June 2009

Squirrel Wars

Rumour has it that the grey squirrel has decided there are too many Royals and that it is about time there was a cull of the less useful, one might say parasitic, variety.

Seriously though, regular readers of this blog will know how partial I am to this little critter and may even recall my previous posting on its ethnic cleansing

Of course the Red is cute too, but is it really necessary to kill the Grey rather than simply providing it with birth control? What a bloodthirsty nation we seem worryingly eager to be when there might be more humane solutions, befitting our British conceit about ourselves as a civilised society.

Or perhaps the Red Squirrel loves a foodstuff that the Grey Squirrel hates - marmite - for example, which could liberally be spread about our parks to incentivise and encourage the Red, but discourage and deter the Grey. Nature is normally pretty good at self-regulating after all, so perhaps it just needs a little nudge here and there, rather than full-scale genocide.

On the other hand if the problem is really that the Grey Squirrel is so much hardier and fecund than the Red, perhaps they could lend the Red a gene or two!


Steve said...

Great minds think alike, Laura, I've written about this myself. I must admit I was rather surprised (and alarmed) by the Prince's rhetoric - "wipe them out". Made me feel rather uncomfortable. I mean if we were to wipe out every non indiginous species from this country I'm pretty sure the Royal family wouldn't survive...

Nota Bene said...

Ah LAura...we had squirrels in the loft and we rang the pest control people in the hope they would simply remove the little blighters. But no, they catch and eliminate because once they've found somewhere they like, they keep going back even if you block up the original entrance. So I have blood on my hands and have been wearing a hair shirt in pentitence.

By contrats, I wouldn't worry too much about eliminating the Roayls

garfer said...

It's all due to anti Americanism. I think we should set the Mink on the Greys while we eat the Crayfish.

We must protect the Reds, they make a lovely tandoori.

Owen said...

Just in case you may not have seen it already, a certain somewhat squirrely blogger did a nice piece about this issue also at :

The Sagittarian said...

We haven't got squirrels here but apparently possums are a pest! I recall being in a tent many years ago and lying awake at night as the possums slid down the tent and scampered back up the trees to slid down again, such playful behaviour and such sharp claws!!

teeni said...

What a cute picture! I can't add much to this post except to say that I have only ever seen black squirrels when I visited Niagara Falls in Canada and I thought they were the prettiest little guys ever, with their fluffy, fancy tails. We only have gray ones around here.

Anonymous said...

It does seem rather extreme but I am not a big fan of them myself. They dig all my bulbs up and bury them elsewhere and then stick flipping acorns in my plant pots instead so in the string I have pots full of tiny oak trees.

But they do look cute - unlike Prince Charles.

KAZ said...

We can't kill because an animal eats bulbs or buildings.
You are quite right Laura - birth control is the answer - as it was for me :)

moi said...

Uh, well. Um. Perhaps a good pack of dogs is the answer? Let "nature" balance everything out, as you suggested?

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Steve - Thanks & what a great posting you did on the subject! I tried to add a link to it on mine but sadly your blog wouldn't let me pick up an individual posting address when I clicked on the title.
Yes Prince Charles' motives are to be suspected.

NotaBene, I am sure Grandmaster Grey will bestow forgiveness upon you for you knew not what you did at the time and pest controllers can be SO unimaginative in their pest controlling methods.

Garfer, you are right about the anti-Americanism of it and I hope our American guests join in the protest at their forebears (kind of) being wiped out. Yes the Reds are very good at making curries - I believe they have a chain of restaurants indeed.

Owen, a most intellectual posting. Thanks for pointing me to it.

So possums get threatened just for keeping campers awake at night by playing by their tents Sagittarian? Jeez, that's tough! Aww they are so cute though!

Teeni, perhaps you'd better fed-ex some black squirrels over fast to confuse the issue and give the greys a stay of execution. These are your fellow Americans under threat after all.

RB, well you'll just have to teach them how to garden properly - I think Alan Titchmarch has a new 'Gardening with Squirrels' DVD just out, come to think of it.

Kaz quite, there is no excuse for genocide - human or animal.

Moi, well introducing a pack of dogs would hardly be 'natural' - I'll stick with birth control or deterrants if a species must be 'managed' (and who are humans to judge when they can't even control their own numbers sustainably?)

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