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Red squirrel populations wiped out in northern Italy | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Red squirrels have been wiped out from a large swath of northern Italy, threatening a further biodiversity crisis for the species on a par with its near extinction in the British Isles.

There are now no red squirrels left in an area of more than 1,150 square kilometres (sq km) in Piedmont, according to research from the universities of Turin, Genoa and Varese. On the edge of this large region, the species is also under threat from the incursions of grey squirrels.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 27th, 2012 at 04:38:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
how odd, i have seen more of them than any other year here. they are dark red, almost brown, much darker than those i saw in california. they are slighter in guild too.

i wonder why they would go south, it seems counter-intuitive.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Sep 27th, 2012 at 06:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i mean in central italy, and build not guild, typo.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Sep 27th, 2012 at 06:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, if the squirrels had a proper guild perhaps they'd do better in the fight against the laissez-fair free market squirrels.

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sapere aude
by Number 6 on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 06:18:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In my area of SW France we see both the typical red squirrel (ginger) and the darker red with practically a brown tail. No grey squirrels here at all.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 04:06:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no greys here either, or ginger ones either.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 06:34:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They can have some of ours, we have lots. Oh no they can't, as the EU has banned squirrel hunting.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 07:34:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Seriously?

Sweet mother of Jesus.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 08:05:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What are we going to eat? </distraught>
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 08:20:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, I don't care one way or the other on whether squirrels are to people's tastes, but this seems to be just the sort of silliness Brussels is known for.

Silly laws for the plebes, silly economic policy for all.

Spoken as one who has shot more than a few in his youth, with a pellet gun.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 08:22:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It used to be a way to introduce youth to hunting. They could hang out in the forest without adult supervision, and fun was had by all. Now they've got to wait until age 15 when you are allowed full-power rifles.

Sad. And squirrel furs are very nice. Even if they haven't been economically relevant since the the industrial revolution came along, they used to be one of the big Swedish exports 500 years ago. And money isn't everything.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 08:29:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nah. Brussels didn't do it.

The red squirrel (sciurus vulgaris) is a protected species because the grey squirrel (sciurus carolinensis) drives it out and destroys it in entire regions. The grey squirrel is not protected.

The EU (or EEC) did not decree this protection, it was the Council of Europe's Berne Convention in 1979 (Annex III).

Having seen as a kid the red squirrel wiped out and replaced by the grey in the English countryside, I don't see anything silly about it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 08:58:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Grey squirrel is not pushing out red squirrel from Sweden, probably because of the different ecosystem over here. Still, both red and grey squirrels are illegal to hunt over here, as a result of Brussels diktats.

Seems I was wrong on the timing though. The ban went into force some time in the 2000's.

:: ::

Ok, I can't find any references to EU meddling (damn, I was sure about this!). It seems our domestic idiots at the Nature Protection Agency thought that as the furs weren't economically valuable and that people don't eat the squirrels very often, the hunting was made illegal. Outrageous, but this is the situation all Swedish hunters suffer under: totally out of touch politically untouchable bureaucrats inventing and implementing very curious rules, straight out of the blue.

Maybe the EU still had something to do with, just that I can't find any sources. I'll have to check out my hunting rule books to make sure.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 09:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid:
Brussels diktats... The ban went into force some time in the 2000's.

I've given you chapter and verse on it. Sweden signed the Berne Convention in 1979 and applied it in 1983. It has nothing to do with Brussels.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 09:55:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you might be right. But it was legal to hunt squirrel (both kinds) up until the early 2000's.

I might have mixed it up with raven hunting which was banned, due to I believe EU pressure. Which is how it aquired the name EU-kråka (EU-crow).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 09:57:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like you can get dispensation for individual squirrels that cause trouble.

Otherwise legal December - January or September - February depending where in the country you are.

(Man, the internet is a cornucopia of conflicting information! Yes, I just noticed.)


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 10:05:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you have to apply for a "cease and desist" injunction first?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 10:18:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Possibly ... :)

In both of the cases I found, the squirrel disappeared between applying for the permit and getting the shotgun out. Maybe they have an inside connection in the postal system.


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sapere aude

by Number 6 on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 10:26:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep. It was a demand if Sweden were to be allowed to become a EU member back in 1995. Not that squirrels are endangered or anything. But too cute or something, I suppose.

Yay for the principle of subsidarity!

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 08:24:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sweden signed the Berne Convention on Wildlife in 1979 and brought it into application in 1983.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Sep 28th, 2012 at 09:08:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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