I know exactly what you are saying here Paul, and aggree with you entirely. It would, as you say, be a big mistake to be seen to be harming another of our furry, cuddly pests...a point often made when discussing otter control.Pheasants aren't native, for that matter, but do we hear a call for their immediate and swift eradication...?
Mink are "do-able", but grey squirrels...
Just see the kiddies and their Mums come out when the selfless "alien eliminators" hit the urban and suburban parks...
Apparently wreck song birds' nests, damage to lofts etc and kill off red squirrels largely through a virus which the greys carry. A neighbour culled over 100 grey squirrels in her garden - that's true. As for eating, apparently very good, but can't imagine much meat on them.Hi Martin, Just out of interest why do you trap the grey Squirrels, what harm do they do.
Regards Ray Thorpe
I know exactly what you are saying here Paul, and aggree with you entirely. It would, as you say, be a big mistake to be seen to be harming another of our furry, cuddly pests...a point often made when discussing otter control.
I think the link Steve Roffey provided is a reminder (to me at least) of how woefully inadequate the knowledge of most people is in regard to our wildlife. I for one was well aware that Grey squirrels were a pest introduced from the Americas, and that they were the primary cause of the demise of our native red squirrels. However, I was completely unaware that they are responsible for severely damaging, and at times even killing, our broadleaf trees. Neither did I know that they sometimes take birds eggs and fledgelings...presumably adding to the loss of some of our already endangered bird species. I thought I was reasonably well informed on our wildlife in general , compared to the average 'townie', but several issues recently have made me wonder.
Hardly surprising then that any such controls are met with howls of anguish and calls for lynching if they are brought to the notice of the 'Mums and kiddies' as you say. Perhaps if a programme of education were undertaken, to inform people of the generally unknown but disturbing side of such critters, it might help. Reducing the 'aahhh' factor by revealing the problems such animals cause, before carrying out any necessary controls, is surely the way forward?
Mind you, having said that, successful education relies on the general public actually wanting to know, and to at least some extent, being able to read
Well summarised by Martin. I don't agree Paul, I would like to think that the majority of cullers believe in some form of management. For example, garden birds mean a lot to me and I look after them. Pigeons are not garden birds but I tolerate them. Seagulls just don't belong - I wouldn't shoot them but haven't any time for them either, they don't belong. Cormorants, no compunction in shooting them when plundering fresh waters. Deer are culled for a good reason, and sure there are people who enjoy the culling. As for grey squirrels, I can see nothing going for them at all. Getting rid of them and the reintroduction of reds would be fantastic and attempts are being made to do just that. How do you feel about non native plants, for example Japanese Knotweed in our rivers? Do we say, it's ok, it's here or do we get rid of it? It is possible to get rid of the greys, if everyone did what my neighbour did.Yup. But, then again, killing officially designated vermin is fairly low down a list of priorities for an increasingly hard-pressed British public these days. It has been my experience that the ever-vociferous cullers and killers are cullers and killers by nature and inclination, forever finding peddle-able, persuasive and, sometimes, increasingly unlikely (baby-mauling foxes...) "good reasons" for justifying what they like to do, and that when one pest becomes no longer cullable for some reason, they find a new one to hit on and offer another set of very good reasons for doing so.
Grey squirrels? We will never rid Britain of the things now; trying to do so would be as impossible as putting the proverbial genie back into the bottle.