What’s all about red and grey squirrels in the UK?!
The same squirrels? NOT!
Red squirrels and grey squirrels are two species of squirrels found in the United Kingdom. While red squirrels are native to the country, grey squirrels were introduced from North America in the late 19th century. Over the past few decades, the presence of grey squirrels has caused significant problems for red squirrels and their habitats. In this article, we will discuss these issues in detail.
Grey Squirrels: the problematic species
The hungry one
Grey squirrels are larger than red squirrels and have a more varied diet. They are also better at storing food for the winter, which gives them a competitive advantage over red squirrels. This competition for food has made it more difficult for red squirrels to survive and find enough food to store for the winter.
These paws can be dirty…
Grey squirrels carry a disease called squirrelpox virus, which is harmless to them but can be fatal to red squirrels. The virus is spread through direct contact or through contaminated food and nests. In recent years, the spread of the virus has caused a decline in the red squirrel population.
Destruction of Habitats
Grey squirrels are known to damage tree bark and foliage, which can affect the health of trees and the habitats of other wildlife, including red squirrels. Red squirrels depend on mature conifer forests for food and shelter, and the destruction of these habitats can make it more difficult for them to survive.
Where to Find Red Squirrels in the UK
Red squirrels can still be found in several areas of the UK, including Scotland, the Lake District, and Northumberland. These areas are relatively remote and have not been heavily impacted by the spread of grey squirrels and the diseases they carry. In order to protect red squirrel populations, it is important to reduce the spread of grey squirrels and to protect the habitats that they rely on.
The red and grey squirrels in the UK
The introduction of grey squirrels to the UK has caused significant problems for red squirrels and their habitats. Competition for food, disease transmission, and destruction of habitats are just some of the challenges that red squirrels face. However, red squirrels are still found in several areas of the UK and are valued for their smaller size, specialized diet, and ability to survive in certain environments. To protect red squirrel populations, it is important to reduce the spread of grey squirrels and to protect the habitats.