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Should Red Squirrels be introduced to the IOM?  

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No way. Bloody red squirrels coming over here, shaggin our polar bears.

Probably not, there's no record of them. If they ever did make it here after the last Ice Age, they probably died out when the Island became almost completely deforested. Maximum deforestation was a

im completely in favour of this idea. air rifle technology has advanced to such a stage where shooting cats hold no sport value for me whatsoever

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It might help increase our polecat population.

 

Not convinced by the argument that squirrels will decimate the wild bird population though, nor that it can only eat certain pines - they can eat any nuts or berries.

 

It probably was once native to the IOM, as it has spread throughout North Europe and Ireland / UK.

 

I kind of like the idea of having cute red squirrels running around the island in a Disneyesque way, but not sure the reality will be like that and we'll hardly see them.

 

my only worry would be that they would become a pest, but this would only happen if they were to massively overbreed, and that hasn't happened with polecats, cats, rabbits, wallabies, etc. so maybe I'm worrying about nothing.

 

so in summary, I'm on the fence on this one - not too fussed one way or the other

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I would prefer any money they have would be spent on re introducing species man has killed off here.

For example: Yellowhammer (probably now extinct in the last few years, Gov didn't nothing and let it happen), Dipper (rivers are now not so poisoned as they were), White-tailed Eagle (that wasn't Man's fault tbf) then there's loads of other things that once bred here and doesn't now.

Corn bunting, Nightjar, Ring Ouzel, Bittern. I could go on and on but add some of them back and our wildlife in total then becomes a lot more attractive to the cash rich Eco-tourist.

But and its a big but. If the only money the Gov are willing to spend on wildlife is introducing Red Squirrel then I am all for it. As anything is better than nothing (which is what we haven now).

The Red Squirrels will not touch the local bird population. Just one cat ran over will save more birds than Red Squirrels would kill.

I am sure someone qualified enough will be able to tell if we have enough food to support a population of Red Squirrels. If so then fair enough.

Edited by spanna
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The Manx Wildlife Trust is opposed to the introduction of the red squirrel, a species that has not previously existed on the island, and which could have a devastating effect on existing species and habitats which are themselves already under threat from environmental pressures.

 

Limited suitable food sources for the squirrels on the island also raises concern about the impact the animals could have on birds eggs.

 

Do you think the MWT is overstating the impact of red squirrels on the island? Will they be devastating?

 

The predation of birds eggs has been shown to happen rarely by squirrels, and surely long tails, cats, gulls, etc, take more birds eggs? And how do the UK bird populations cope with having red squirrels in their neighbourhood?

 

Also, if food is so scarce on the island, its unlikely that the squirrels will massively overpopulate the island.

 

I'm still not convinced that we should have squirrels, but I'm not convinced by validity of the "no" argument being pushed by the MWT.

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I'm in favour of red squirrels being introduced as long as the Department is satisfied that any negative impact on the present eco-system is minimal. However, I don't think it'll matter a jot what you or I think when an "expert" has come out against it. The Department probably won't have the bottle to go against a 'prophet of doom', especially when that person has credibility. That's one of the flaws of public consultations - everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others.

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I'm in favour of red squirrels being introduced as long as the Department is satisfied that any negative impact on the present eco-system is minimal. However, I don't think it'll matter a jot what you or I think when an "expert" has come out against it. The Department probably won't have the bottle to go against a 'prophet of doom', especially when that person has credibility. That's one of the flaws of public consultations - everyone is equal, but some people are more equal than others.

 

Well the idea that people who know stuff should be taken more seriously than people who don't is hardly a bad one. Arguably the Island would be a better place if that principle was followed more often. The trouble with species introduction is that we know from history that there may be all kinds of unexpected consequences, we just don't know what they are yet (by definition).

 

As I said before I suspect that DEFA is actually against this as well and the idea is just being pushed by some idiot politician. There might just be a case to be made if the red squirrel was endangered and an island refuge was required, but it isn't. It's very widespread and there isn't a British subspecies that needs protecting.

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It might help increase our polecat population.

 

Not convinced by the argument that squirrels will decimate the wild bird population though, nor that it can only eat certain pines - they can eat any nuts or berries.

 

It probably was once native to the IOM, as it has spread throughout North Europe and Ireland / UK.

 

I kind of like the idea of having cute red squirrels running around the island in a Disneyesque way, but not sure the reality will be like that and we'll hardly see them.

 

my only worry would be that they would become a pest, but this would only happen if they were to massively overbreed, and that hasn't happened with polecats, cats, rabbits, wallabies, etc. so maybe I'm worrying about nothing.

 

so in summary, I'm on the fence on this one - not too fussed one way or the other

 

There really does seem to be no evidence that the red squirrel ever made it to the Island. The fact that the Island is missing a lot of other species as well suggests that they never made it here before it was cut off after the last Ice Age. Presumably the habitat wasn't suitable before that happened. Even if they did make it here, they would have been wiped out by Iron Age deforestation, so there's no recent evidence to show what effect they might have on the environment.

 

Earlier imports such as rabbits have indeed caused problems in the past (myxomatosis was introduced in the 50s to try to limit them) and still do in areas today. So caution is usually the best policy.

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It might help increase our polecat population.

 

Not convinced by the argument that squirrels will decimate the wild bird population though, nor that it can only eat certain pines - they can eat any nuts or berries.

 

It probably was once native to the IOM, as it has spread throughout North Europe and Ireland / UK.

 

I kind of like the idea of having cute red squirrels running around the island in a Disneyesque way, but not sure the reality will be like that and we'll hardly see them.

 

my only worry would be that they would become a pest, but this would only happen if they were to massively overbreed, and that hasn't happened with polecats, cats, rabbits, wallabies, etc. so maybe I'm worrying about nothing.

 

so in summary, I'm on the fence on this one - not too fussed one way or the other

 

There really does seem to be no evidence that the red squirrel ever made it to the Island. The fact that the Island is missing a lot of other species as well suggests that they never made it here before it was cut off after the last Ice Age. Presumably the habitat wasn't suitable before that happened. Even if they did make it here, they would have been wiped out by Iron Age deforestation, so there's no recent evidence to show what effect they might have on the environment.

 

Earlier imports such as rabbits have indeed caused problems in the past (myxomatosis was introduced in the 50s to try to limit them) and still do in areas today. So caution is usually the best policy.

 

I'd tend to agree with that.. except. Moles! Moles didn't make it to Ireland before the land mass was cut off, and they didn't make it to the IOM either, but obviously they made it to the UK, so you can see there was a clear demarcation line where Moles never made the leap.

 

However red squirrels did make it across to Ireland before the land mass was cut off, so it is likely that they also made it to the IOM and it was probably the deforestation that wiped them out.

 

In terms of the effect on the environment, we can see that in Scotland, where the effect is minimal.

 

But as you say, its a risk, so why take it?

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If I hear one more thing about fucking squirrels my head will explode. The Island is in a mess we're cutting services and budgets and yet the papers see fit to do a 'Vox Pop' on people's opinions on fucking squirrels.

 

Squirrels are members of the family Sciuridae, consisting of small or medium-size rodents. The family includes tree squirrels, ground squirrels, chipmunks, marmots (including woodchucks), flying squirrels, and prairie dogs.

 

More info on Wikipedia

Edited by GD4ELI
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