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Grey squirrels: is birth control the solution to Britain's invasive species problem?

By Jason Gilchrist, Ecologist, Edinburgh Napier University
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There are thought to be 2.7 million grey squirrels in the UK, versus only 287,000 red squirrels. The invasive greys, brought to Britain and Ireland from North America in the 1870s, are blamed for the disappearance of the native red throughout much of England and Wales, due to the squirrel pox virus they transmit and the fact that they compete for food and habitat with their smaller relatives.

As with the UK’s other invasive species, such as rabbits, signal crayfish and Japanese knotweed,…


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