Patriots, this is another in our series documenting the struggle against squirrel world domination in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, and Wales).
Of particular interest to our righteous crusade is the "civil war" raging between the indigenous Nutzy Rouge (red skwerl) and the introduced grey menace (gray skwerl).
For those who don't know, the grey skwerl arrived in England from North America during the 19th century (click pic for skwerl's cheeky comment about Victorian England).
Some say that Benjamin Franklin brought the first grey to England. Others say the nutzys were imported for the amusement of the British upper class during Victorian times.
Regardless of how grey skwerlballs got to England, they spread across the island displacing the native reds until they became the dominant skwerl in the UK.
Today, the Nutzy Rouge are on the verge of extinction thanks to the grey. Those that remain are found in disperse, isolated pockets mostly in Scotland, Pentraeth, the Isle of Wight, Cumbria, Northumbria, and a few other locales.
As a result of the reds' circumstance, UK skwerlhuggers found themselves in a distasteful position. They could let nature take its course. In that case the Nutzy Rouge would disappear from the UK altogether within the next 20-30 years.
Alternatively, they could embark on a campaign to save the reds (an effort that some said was too little too late).
Typically, the UK's pathetic skwerlhuggers decided to preserve the reds. Atypically, their campaign focused on de-skwerlizing and demonizing the grey chitterboxes.
Soon, British media was reporting on the negative aspects of being a grey skwerl: they carry a pox that kills reds; they're responsible for deforestation; they eat baby birds; and so on and so forth.
The campaign worked. Plans to save the red skwerl went from kaffeeklatsch conversation to a 2005 government biodiversity plan that conceded most of the UK to the grey menace with dedicated redoubts for the remaining reds (click map for big version).
This hardly satisfied a small but well-situated cadre of Nutzy Rouge-huggers. Their plan forsees an island devoid of any grey skwerls. To accomplish this, they proposed an island-wide cull of grey skwerls. Culls include some or all of the following: declaring the animal to be legally vermin and then shooting, poisoning, trapping and killing it.
Needless to say, the plan to eliminate an entire species of skwerl caused an immediate rift amongst the UK's skwerlhugging population. Regional cull's have taken place, but the island-wide effort envisioned by the Nutzy Rouge-huggers hasn't happened.
However, a large-scale, 3-year program to cull the greys in northern Scotland may set the stage for more ambitious efforts if it slows down the red's decline:
Great squirrel cull launches in Scotland
Source: AFP - Tuesday, 10 February, 2009
LONDON (AFP) They may be cute and cuddly but that won't be enough to save grey squirrels in northern Scotland after the launch on Tuesday of Britain?s largest ever culling campaign of a mammal.
Naturalists and landowners are joining forces to rid northern Scotland of the squirrels, arguing they carry a deadly pox virus and threaten the smaller native red squirrel.
Scotland is one of the few safe havens left for the red squirrel whose numbers have been in slow decline throughout Britain since the arrival of its stronger, disease-carrying cousin from North America in the 1870s.
"The red squirrel is the UK's only native squirrel but it is in danger of becoming extinct on mainland Scotland if action is not taken to protect it," said Mel Tonkin, manager of the Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels campaign.
"Our project aims to stop the decline of Scotland's red squirrels and help them expand across the country in the future, but we have a huge task ahead of us."
Estimates put the number of red squirrels in Scotland at around 120,000 and the number of greys at between 200,000 and 300,000.
Tens of thousands of greys are expected to be trapped and killed under the three-year, £1.3 million campaign sponsored by the Scottish government, the Guardian said.
Patriots, should we be thrilled with Scotland's efforts? After all, fewer nutzys is a good thing, right?
Of course, and to say otherwise is crazy talk, but what if the plan is really a skwerlien subterfuge? Our analysis suggests that it is. Consider the following:
Culling (killing) won't work on a large scale: this method is best suited for small, relatively isolated areas (e.g. Anglesey Island). Even a dedicated, nation-wide, three year campaign won't prevent a swift and angry resurgence of slavering nut devils after the cull ends.
Poisoning is hardly "humane": most rodent poisons work on the central nervous system and/or turn bushytail innards into bloody goo. This process is by no means quick, nor is it painless.
Poisoning threatens other species: distributing the poison in some areas may be prohibited under endangered/threatened species law. This potentially limits the cull's reach. In any event, we certainly don't want Our Pals in the animal world innocently falling victim to the cull as well (even if the risk is considered low)...
The Last Supper? Our Pal the Red-Tailed Hawk carries off his dinner
So, the cull may not bring about the desired result, Our Pals in the animal kingdom may be at risk, and poisoning inflicts a horrible death on its victims. But how could this be a chitterbox plot?
The answer to that question should be obvious in the following correspondence sent to us by a concerned skwerlhugger:
Please help! In England the people who look after the red squirrels in special reserves are planning a CULL, yes CULL, of the darling grey squirrels. We must stop them. Can everyone please email them and ask them not to do it? It is based on the fallacy that the grey keep the red down. Please educate them.You can find out about it on the net. Thanks. ~anonymous
Clearly, the mere threat of a cull is creating a backlash against harming any skwerl regardless of how maniacal it is. It's also undoubtedly turning many previously uncommitted or ignorant (but well-meaning) Citizens to the skwerlside. In a nation already awash in skwerlhuggery, this foresees England's subjugation to squirrel world domination regardless of who wins the skwerlien civil war.
And if the cull goes forward, there's a final, endgame screnario so horrible that only Tufty the Traffic Safety Squirrel would dare implement it. In fact, his plot is so grievous we hesitate to even state it: If it's ok to reduce a species of skwerl to the status of a parasitic worm (to save another species of skwerl), what or who's next? And next? And next? Until everything on the planet that's a threat to squirrel world domination is...? Well, we're sure you get the picture (click Tufty for comment).
Patriots, it's probaly too late to reverse the damage done by the very proposal of a nation-wide skwerlball cull in England, and Tufty the Traffic Safety Squirrel, despotic skwerliopath that he is, stands ready to sacrifice millions of his underlings to jump start his doomsday plan. However, the plan will fall like a house of cards if the cull is stopped before it begins. Thus, while it's tempting to focus on the supposed benefits of a cull, do not be seduced by yet another false promise. This criminal chitterbox conspiracy must be stopped...
Don't know about costing the tax payers, I know plenty of people that would shoot grey's for free. They taste nice too.
After reds where hunted to near extinction in England 150years ago, they were imported from places like scandinavia to boost populations. So most of them aren't 'native' either. Give the reds the sanctuary of islands and let the srongest squirrel survive in the UK. Its called WILD-life not CONTROLLED-life! Also the millions of tax payers money spent every year on the grey squirrel genocide could be much better spent (don't you think!)
PLANS by the Government to cull grey squirrels are short-sighted because there is so much more to saving red squirrels than culling greys.
The RSPCA is concerned about the welfare of both red and grey squirrels, and believes measures to protect rare species should be both realistic and humane to all affected animals.
Conservation bodies argue that if no action is taken we could lose the reds as a species. But the factors that affect conservation status also have welfare consequences Reds can suffer and die from parapox virus spread by the greys, which themselves remain unaffected. They can also suffer and die because the habitat they need to survive is being lost to greys. But some measures proposed to control populations of grey squirrels would cause the greys to suffer.
The RSPCA firmly believes that work on science-based alternative measures to reduce the negative welfare impact on both reds and greys should have the highest priority. These could include maintaining habitat that is more desirable to reds than greys, and possibly immuno-contraception trials to reduce the breeding success of grey squirrels.
The RSPCA believes that control must not be interpreted solely as lethal control and urges the investigation of alternative measures to reduce the impact of grey squirrels on reds, whilst ensuring both reds and greys do not suffer.
We support a more measured approach. Eradicating long-established entire populations of greys, as well as being ethically questionable, would be very difficult and cause unnecessary suffering. The RSPCA will always support plans that achieve the best possible welfare outcomes for the species concerned.
Head of Wildlife,
If it is controlled and humane yes do it but using poission is not humane catch them in a live trap and then shoot them that why it is painless quick and humaine yes it is time consuming but if your serrious about this you wont care how long it tacks.
That red-tailed hawk shall be obliterated! I will pluck his vile feathers and boil him in oil! I will defend the lives of all brave skwerls who rise up against the dregs of humanity. Oh, I shall vanquish all of the evil in skwerldom - cats, dogs, owls, chickens, cars...Thy will be done oh skwerly masters!
that was a funny picture when the hawk(bird) took that squirrel away sorry but lol is was a good picture god loves all animals but you know what he ain't going to defend all of those squirrels lol
The best way to cull the grey chitterboxes is by hunting down the little devils and makin' 'em into delicious grey skwerl stew, or fry em up as skwerlpatties, or maybe grill em. Too bad the silly and short-sighted English have outlawed the possession of skwerl guns by the population. When skwerl guns are outlawed, only outlaws will eat skwerl.
I HATEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE U PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the greys should be culled, although humanely and not fully, as this islan is their island and they also have (some) right to be here. ~ADAM, ENGLAND
I think Barbie is effecting this cull as to wipe out the divergent grey population in England, thus furthering her hold upon the busytail horde, and if they are ALL united...
The cherished red squirrel was also, for many decades, persecuted by foresters and game keepers. They used to be known as tree rats and there was a price on their head. Just one so-called 'squirrel club' in the highlands killed 85,000 reds in the first 30 years of the last century.
As well as being hunted, the red was a victim of climate changes, disease, woodland destruction and the cessation of hazel coppicing since the Second World War. They were already in decline before the grey was introduced 100 years ago as an ornamental species.
The greys have flourished because they have been better able to adapt than the red. They are more sturdy, opportunistic and faster at breeding.
So what is behind the grey squirrel pogrom? What is behind the lie that the grey is responsible for the demise of the red and for damaging Britain's forests? The answer, it seems, is an alliance of powerful vested interests that includes the Country Landowners Association, the Timber Growers Association and The Forestry Commission.
Grey squirrels, the FC noted when announcing a new grey squirrel 'cull' in the early '90s, do better in broadleaved forests than in conifers. Therefore, we in this country need to plant more conifers and fewer broadleaf species, such as the much admired oak, beech and sweet chestnut.
It so happens that the quick-growing soft-wooded conifers form the basis of the commercial logging industry in this country. Many people despise the gruesome mess caused by the regimented planting and felling of the spindly commercial conifers. But now we know that, for our own good, we need much more of the same. How else are we to dispose of that most implacable and dangerous enemy: the grey squirrel.
Cull? Pass the .22's
That's terrible! Grey skwerls rule! I'm calling Paul McCartney.
Obviously, the way to deal with the problem is instead of poisoning the grey demons, just feed them all drugs that make them infertile. A squirrel version of "the pill", though preferably permanent requiring only one dose. That way the territories will still be occupied so other squirrels will still have competition while the whole grey population is rendered incapable of breeding. They then die of natural causes and hey presto, nutzy extermination. But in a humane manner. He he he.
SAVING SCOTLAND'S RED SQUIRRELS
FORESTRY COMMISSION'S GREY SQUIRREL POLICY
EUROPEAN SQUIRREL INITIATIVE
FRIENDS OF THE ANGLESEY RED SQUIRREL
SOS - SAVING THE RED SQUIRREL
top photo and red squirrels unknown; grey squirrel by Patriot Reeve
Skwerl and Hawk photo and title graphic by scary squirrel world
Thanx to Patriot Lafayette for tipping us to this story