Thursday, February 10, 2011

SQUIRRELS!

Today, for the first time ever, I saw a Grey Squirrel locally. In the previous eleven years, I have only seen three red squirrels, at three different locations nearby. I reported same to the Waterford Institute of Technology, where a Squirrel Project is ongoing for some time. Their internet page says the first documented sighting of a Grey Squirrel in County Waterford was just a few years ago, in 2007.

See what they have to say at:

http://www2.wit.ie/research/ResearchGroupsCentres/Groups/MERG/Projects/

Also check out the Waterford County Council website which has further information:

http://www.waterfordcoco.ie/en/services/conservationandheritage/naturalheritage/wildlifehabitats/greysquirrel/

It is exactly 100 years since the first Grey Squirrels, now becoming more than a nuisance, were introduced to this country.

You can see them (Greys) in plenty in the grounds of the Botanic Gardens in Dublin, where they are fed by visitors. Only other place in this country I saw a Grey was in a cemetery in Skerries, County Dublin.

I first saw Grey Squirrels, much to my surprise, in the grounds of the United Nations Centre, New York, in 1980 approx!

Addendum 18.02.11:-

The Mammal Ecology Group, of NUI Galway, has just launched an exciting new project examining the relationships between three woodland mammal species in Ireland; the native red squirrel and pine marten, and the introduced grey squirrel. This project aims to increase our understanding of the ecology of all three animals, and help in the conservation of the two native species.

If you have been seeing any of the mammals mentioned, you can help with a survey being carried out by the project. Simply check out:-

http://www.woodlandmammals.com/index.html

The above URLs should be copied and pasted into your browser, Internet Explorer, or whatever.

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