Squirrels wanted, dead or alive?

Not an update on the Prehen story, but confirmation of just how cavalier that decision to cut into a red squirrel habitat may be:

According to the mammal ecology group at NUI Galway, which is conducting the study, the distribution of grey squirrels has expanded in all directions except westwards, where the Shannon appears to be an obstacle.

As the populations of this non-native species have increased, there has been a marked decline and disappearance of Ireland’s native red squirrels, as both species compete for the same foods: tree seeds, nuts and pine cones.

“Studies haves shown that red squirrels can disappear from an area within a decade or two after the arrival of the grey squirrels. The grey squirrel also carries the squirrel pox virus, which is lethal to the native reds,” the group has said.

As Frank McDonald points out, anyone may complete an online survey form at woodlandmammals.com, email margaret.flaherty@nuigalway.ie, or follow the project on Facebook or Twitter.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty