thirdcrank wrote:It's only within the last couple of years that the govt., has given up the attempts to eradicate grey squirrels. I'm not going to bother looking for links but regulations such as a duty on all occupiers of land to report sightings of grey squirrels were only rescinded within the last couple of years. (I can date that because my mother was in a residential home which had a nest in the garden wall at the time.) As mammals, they have a certain level of protection against what I'll call amateur extermination attempts and whatever the wider situation, the nation of animal lovers sees them as cute in a way that rats can only dream about.
Their unorthodox stop-start way of crossing roads means they don't cope well with traffic and I suspect that being run over is the only big threat to their existence.
I've no idea how many live in my garden, I have a dozen or so mature trees plus an uncountable number of hedges and shrubs and my neighbours similar. Around us are parks and many more mature trees. I'd estimate there must be thousands of them within spitting distance.
If I were so inclined there's nothing I could do to reduce that number, not that I'm inclined to anyway. I quite like them, they're amusing to watch and together with hedgehogs and bats they make my garden a more interesting place. If they didn't exist I'd have no squirrels at all.
I noticed this year my oak trees had very few acorns so the squirrels have been much quieter. Last year trying to move across my garden was like walking on marbles there were so many.
Whilst oaks and squirrels have a symbiotic relationship I read somewhere that oaks vary the amount of acorns they produce over a cycle of seven(?) years, producing a bumper crop once per cycle. They do this apparently to prevent squirrel numbers from reaching the point where they eat all the acorns the tree produces. The low numbers hold back squirrel numbers then the bumper crop produces far more than the squirrels can eat ensuring the tree reproduces.