Invasive, but adorable, grey squirrels

Can I just say, without any implications, that the Irish way of saying squirrel is adorable? One of my Irish friends said it yesterday and I had to fight not to tell him it was adorable because he was being very serious about this nasty invasive pest. Squee-rell.

Grey Squirrels

People hate the grey squirrels because they are driving down populations of the native red (adorable) squirrel. The main problem with the grey squirrels is that they carry a pox that the native squirrels have no resistance to (see American chestnuts), but they also compete for resources and habitat. They also strip bark from trees.

Grey Squirrels

Also, similar to the European Starling in the US, a small population was introduced at the beginning of the 1900’s and they have since colonized the entire country.

Grey Squirrels

I have to say, even in the US where they are native, we prefer our red squirrels. But I still like these nasty, invasive, aerial acrobats (tree rats as my dad would call them).

Reference video:


6 thoughts on “Invasive, but adorable, grey squirrels

  1. I can’t remember when I saw my first dog or cat, but i remember seeing my first squirrel when I was 7 at a small town near us that had a grassy town square with trees. They spent a fortune on water for such a luxury in the desert, but it meant they had squirrels. I thought they were the cutest things ever!

  2. The greys haven’t quite managed to get as far as Mayo. The river Shannon acts as a good deterrent! But we also don’t have many reds though in recent years they have reintroduced some reds to Belleek woods in Ballina where they appear to be doing well.
    Some recent research has also shown that increasing pine marten numbers appear to have negative affect on greys but positive on reds. The theory is grey are easier caught spending more time feeding on the ground.

    • Ecology is always so complicated haha…I went to a talk once about an island ecosystem where there were invasive cats and rats. The cats were easier to eradicate, but when they did so the rat population boomed out of control because the cats had been the only thing keeping them in check.

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