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Red squirrels have a few problems with Grey's.
1. both species are territorial to a degree & the
Grey's are bigger.
2. Greys carry a virus lethal to Reds but not
3. Greys can digest acorns & other seeds before
they're ripe enough for the Red's digestive system so they get
bite at any food source leaving less for the Red.
There may be others but those are the ones I'm aware of.
Captive selective breeding to produce larger Reds (easy), more
aggressive & territorial (including aggression to Greys of
resistant to Squirrelpox (there must be some out there we can
use as initial breeding stock)..
& maybe also for better digestion
of unripe green acorns.
Release in areas populated by the Grey & let them do to the
Grey what the Grey has done to the Red.
As evidenced by wild dogs (among other examples) the effects
selective breeding tend to breed out of a population once left
their own devices so once we stop releasing captive bred big
Reds into the wild & the selection pressures of the Grey is
chances are they'll revert to the original phenotype in a few
Especially once (having eradicated the intervening Grey as
they spread from release sights in the south) they link up with
wild population & interbreed.
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs
Controlling the grey squirrel population [Skewed, Oct 04 2019]
Red squirrel facts [Skewed, Oct 04 2019]
Red squirrel [Skewed, Oct 04 2019]
Gray squirrel [Skewed, Oct 04 2019]
Squirrelpox virus [Skewed, Oct 04 2019]
Feral dogs, all revert to the same body plan [Skewed, Oct 04 2019]
Grey Squirrel Bounty Abandoned in 1957
BBC News [Skewed, Oct 04 2019]
||But then grey squirrels will be an endangered species because of the huge, aggressive red squirrels. Surely then someone will propose breeding larger and more aggressive grey squirrels, and then the red squirrels will need a bit of help, and so on with the ghastly inevitability of a super-rodent arms-race until the world is full of massive, ferocious T-Rex-like squirrels, laying waste to whatever is in their path and ultimately wiping out humanity.
||12-bores are more entertaining, although squirrel recognition training would be needed.
||.30-06 is even more entertaining, though greater skill is required; on the plus side, there's no need to struggle through undergrowth to retrieve the corpse, as it doesn't exist.
||Well of course this is only part of a multipronged
approach but 12-bores are perhaps a little excess to
||They're only squirrels after all.
||We were thinking more a relaxation of air rifle ownership,
carry laws & age restrictions coupled with a 10p bounty on
Grey squirrel tails.
||Disappointing the Scout Association hasn't replied to
our proposal of a new
'environmental awareness badge' for 100 Grey squirrel tails
||Another prong is a chain of Grey squirrel meat restaurant
across the counties (we're hoping to get Jamie Oliver to
that for us, if we keep him busy enough he might leave
twizzler relaunch alone).
||If our new line of Grey squirrel fur is a success at the
Paris fashion week it should help put pressure on the
Greys as well, still looking for a name to
promote that one for us though, for some reason Versace
returning our calls, OK so it's been a few years since we
talked but he can't still be miffed about that
incident with the Crème brûlée.
||We're also trying to breed pine martens that are blind to
the red of a red squirrels fur, but not had much luck yet.
||//But then grey squirrels will be an endangered species//
||No they won't, they'll always have America, but I like where
you went with that.
||This idea is, alas, flawed.
||We have changed dogs by selecting for traits which do not
have advantages in the wild. This can be tested by, for
example, putting 8 ShitZus and 8 wolves in the same
enclosure for about 3 minutes.
||The changes you are trying to make to the red squirrel,
however, would be a definite advantage in the wild.
Meaning that natural evolution is already doing its slow,
pathetic best. You're not going to improve much on that,
unless your captive population is wayyyy bigger than the
(admittedly small and shrinking) wild population. For
instance, natural selection in the wild will strongly favour
any red that can beat disease or can eat a wider range of
||The most effective way to favour red squirrels is simply to
shoot all the greys. There are only 2.5m of them, so it can't
be that hard. Or we just might be able to find a virus to
which they alone are susceptible.
||// putting 8 ShitZus and 8 wolves in the same enclosure for about 3 minutes. //
||Yes, that was so sad. Why you chose to inflict such suffering on wolves is inexplicable.
||It's not my fault. Who knew that ShitZus stick in wolves
gullets like that?
||Well, the Tzu know. It's one of their many survival tricks; leaping into the wolf's mouth - thus bypassing the teeth - and then eating the wolf from the inside out
||If it's really stealing your tomatoes, leave a small dish of sea
salt out near the plants. Sea salt on tomatoes is irresistable,
the squirrel will probably die of hypertension.
||//When I was at school in the 70s//
||Really? I thought the bounty was got rid of b4 then
Yep it seems it was [linky] to have remembered that when
school you must have been in school in the 50s which would
put you 'in' your 70s, right number but attributed to the
thing? if not then maybe you're mind's doing a mashup of
memories & things your parents told you.
||Maybe it's time for some de-extinction. In the miocene
period, there was a species of squirrel that was over 4ft
long, _not_ counting the tail. It had incisors over six inches
long, and is believed to been carnivorous or partly so. They
had serrated claws which wore against each other when the
hand or foot was clenched, keeping them razor-sharp. They
also had partially forward-facing eyes, giving them good
||They didn't have opposable thumbs, but they had a horny
(no jokes, please) growth that could be used much like a
thumb. They also had a disproportionately large brain. All
in all, they were well on the way to becoming really evil
||It's always possible your locale council or parish brought in &
funded their own scheme after the national one ceased.
||Ah yes, a dreary expanse of inexpertly-reclaimed mudflats useful only as a place to build really long runways for bombers, created in a desperate and only partially successful attempt to prevent Norfolk encroaching on habitable land, and where "Mr. & Mrs Potato Head" is schoolteacher jargon for parent's evening ...
||Maybe you could build a giant wooden badger ... ?