Grey Squirrel Cull

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sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,487
428
derbyshire
Practical man :D

It was the 'decimate' bit. BR once got on a rant to me about it being a horrendously offensive word, since it literally meant that one man in ten in a regiment that lost a battle was killed for not winning. In it's modern meaning though, it does slowly reduce numbers very effectively of pest species :)

M
Ah but this was the man who claimed a flat cap was better than a hood in bad weather :D

Nah BR was a good un. Tis a terrible word to use when you think of its original meaning. We say decimate all the time with considering what it actually meant.....which was nine men beating their mate to death
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,487
428
derbyshire
Oh while i think about it toddy (and to totally de-rail the thread lol)

That cloak you cut for me, what seems like many years ago, is actually being sewn as we speak
by someone much better suited to the task than i and its looking amazing
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,614
1,713
S. Lanarkshire
Aye, it's a horrific concept, but the one in ten is a useful measure, just not of Roman squaddies.

I like hoods, otherwise BR could be a very capable fellow :)

Glad to hear the cloak is coming together; I did wonder if just hadn't suited you.
I think it's a good, practical shape, that is comfortable in wear and use; I hope you (or whoever ends up wearing it!) finds it so too :)

M
 

daveO

Native
Jun 22, 2009
1,326
407
South Wales
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-41524121

I hope this outbreak doesn't end up being too serious but it does highlight that we'd have to face a squirrelless period in this country if greys were to be culled. In practical terms as I see it we'd have to wipe out about 2.5m grey squirrels, allow a decent amount of time to ensure they're all gone, which would involve a lot of baiting and camera trap tests as a minimum I imagine, then we could try and get a breeding and release program for the reds. Allow time to get the public on side and get the law changed to force land owners to deal with greys on their land... I reckon 40 years would be pushing it before we start seeing results.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,564
937
63
Florida
Practical man :D

It was the 'decimate' bit. BR once got on a rant to me about it being a horrendously offensive word, since it literally meant that one man in ten in a regiment that lost a battle was killed for not winning. In it's modern meaning though, it does slowly reduce numbers very effectively of pest species :)

M
I think most people don't realize the 1 in 10 aspect to be honest. I think they just use the word interchangeably (and incorrectly) with "devastate." That part of my reply to you (about the decimation) was meant tongue in cheek.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,564
937
63
Florida
Litters of two at a time are common enough here. In suburbia three seems to be more prevalent.
One in ten take out, time after time after time, reduces numbers pretty effectively. It needs to be a determined, consistent effort though.
Alan posted a short video recently of our local woodlands, we have an enormous variety of deciduous trees.
http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=147164&highlight=Alan,+home
In Winter the leaves fall and the greys are easily spotted.
We still have reds here, not many but they are still here. If the greys are culled, then the reds have more chance of raising offspring.
On the whole I think we'd prefer the reds.
I wonder why the difference in litter size there? They range from 4 to 6 here usually (at least in the states where I've lived; it might be different in others)

I remember my last trip to the Smokey Mountains when one of the nature lectures said that the Park had more varieties of trees (evergreen and deciduous combined) than all of Europe.

When the leaves fall off the trees here it's usually a signal that most squirrel hunters switch to hunting them with dogs.
 

daveO

Native
Jun 22, 2009
1,326
407
South Wales
I reckon urban areas would be the hardest to cull in. You'd have to trap and remove for safety reasons but so many people would be opposed to the scheme that sabotage would be a real problem. I guess given a long enough time scale you could sort out some sort of oral birth control or trap and neuter scheme though. I'm not sure how second hand birth control chemicals would affect predators/scavengers though. Rat poison is apparently having a terrible affect on owls.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,564
937
63
Florida
I reckon urban areas would be the hardest to cull in. You'd have to trap and remove for safety reasons but so many people would be opposed to the scheme that sabotage would be a real problem. I guess given a long enough time scale you could sort out some sort of oral birth control or trap and neuter scheme though. I'm not sure how second hand birth control chemicals would affect predators/scavengers though. Rat poison is apparently having a terrible affect on owls.
Aside from the predators and scavengers, I also imagine it might be difficult to deliver any such oral contraceptive that wouldn't be eaten by the Red Squirrels you really want to save?
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,614
1,713
S. Lanarkshire
We're in a really lush bit of country here, and in the last twenty years they've been visiting our gardens, I've never seen them with more than three young...and it's usually just two.
It might well not be that elsewhere, but here, that's pretty much it.


M
 

daveO

Native
Jun 22, 2009
1,326
407
South Wales
Aside from the predators and scavengers, I also imagine it might be difficult to deliver any such oral contraceptive that wouldn't be eaten by the Red Squirrels you really want to save?
So far trials of contraception seem to have gone fairly badly. There's already a good deal of lethal culling going on around red squirrel areas to stop them coming into contact with greys and getting the pox so you'd probably have a buffer zone to stop them getting into the bait. Contraception is only really required where other lethal methods are unlikely to be feasible.
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,564
937
63
Florida
We're in a really lush bit of country here, and in the last twenty years they've been visiting our gardens, I've never seen them with more than three young...and it's usually just two.
It might well not be that elsewhere, but here, that's pretty much it.


M
:dunno: It is what it is.

So far trials of contraception seem to have gone fairly badly. There's already a good deal of lethal culling going on around red squirrel areas to stop them coming into contact with greys and getting the pox so you'd probably have a buffer zone to stop them getting into the bait. Contraception is only really required where other lethal methods are unlikely to be feasible.
I suppose it's [possible that way. Just sounds like long odds. In any case, good luck.
 

Hammock Hamster

Full Member
Feb 17, 2012
1,061
75
Surbiton, Surrey
I would definitely be behind the cull and given the option would be happy to be actively involved.
It’s been several years since I have lived anywhere with access to a shooting permission but when I did it was mostly farmland where I was helping keep vermin down including greys, still have my trusty air rifles though in case the situation ever changes.

I think the biggest issue here, as others have said, is getting the general public on board and culling in urban areas.
Most urbanites I know “love the fluffy tailed squirrels” and generally won’t see or understand the impact they have outside of their gardens.


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