Friday, August 03, 2007

Squirrels in England

For folks living in the countryside, there are 2 types of squirrel.

The red squirrel (Sciurus Vulgaris) is the only squirrel native to Britain, it can easily be recognised by its size, colouring, which can vary from bright ginger, red through dark brown. From nose to tail, their length is around 350 - 400mm, adults can weigh up to 350g.

The American grey squirrel (Sciurus Carolinensis) was first introduced to Britain at Henbury Park, Cheshire, in 1876, and introduced to other areas around the UK in the 1920s. From these sites the squirrel population grew, and as it did, the red squirrel population began its decline. There are no definite facts as to why the two species cannot live together, but it appears that the greys have a greater ability to compete for food. The only advantage that the reds have is their supremacy in conifer forests.

In England, greys outnumber reds by 66:1.

For urban dwellers and town and city based squirrel watchers, a similar story is unfolding abeit with two different breeds.

The "oh how cute is that" squirrel is common in urban gardens across the UK, and can easily be recognised by its you-tube-friendly scampering motion, its lovely tail and rather cute habit of staring back winningly at you as you look out of the window. The "oh how cute" squirrel will often be seen on fences and lawns in winter and early spring delighting children and adults alike.

The "Those Bastard" Squirrels are found mostly in gardens with expensive plants, carefully tended organic vegetables, young fruit trees bearing limited amounts of fruit, and plastic bin bags - all of which Those Bastard Squirrels feast upon in preference to digging up stored nuts like they damn well should be doing (the bastards). Those Bastard Squirrels are easily recognised by their sly, evil faces, rat-like bodies and irritatingly insolent disregard for any amount of screaming, window banging and general gesticulating by the residents of the property they have chosen to blight.

In London, Those Bastard Squirrels outnumber Oh how Cute Squirrels by over 2,000,000:1

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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