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Old August 21st, 2006, 10:37 AM   #16
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Cheers Ben, Great comments.
Thanks a lot
Dave
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Old August 21st, 2006, 02:54 PM   #17
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No worries mate... Hope it was of some help.

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Old August 21st, 2006, 04:37 PM   #18
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There's a guy who owns a forest near to me who is desperately trying to kill off the greys in there so that he can reintroduce the reds that used to be so prominant there years gone by.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
There's a guy who owns a forest near to me who is desperately trying to kill off the greys in there so that he can reintroduce the reds that used to be so prominant there years gone by.
Setting aside for the moment the vital importance of biodiversity in general, I have to wonder why the red squirrel is so much preferred to the grey? A squirrel is a squirrel and over the course of time new varieties of critter are constantly displacing other varieties of critter in a given environmental niche. I'm not sure I fully understand the view that grey squirrel replaces red squirrel = bad but elephant replaces mastadon = so what? And BTW, I hold a BS degree in biology and chemistry so it's not like the subject of evolution and environment is alien,
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:14 AM   #20
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Because the grey squirrel is not native to the UK. It was brought into the country for some reason, and then started to wipe out our own native squirrels (which as implied by their name look a lot nicer than those American imports).
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
Because the grey squirrel is not native to the UK. It was brought into the country for some reason, and then started to wipe out our own native squirrels (which as implied by their name look a lot nicer than those American imports).
That may be, but our squirrels are bigger, and have more horsepower ;)
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:24 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Simon Wyndham
. . ., and then started to wipe out our own native squirrels (which as implied by their name look a lot nicer than those American imports).
I guess it's just a matter of eye-of-the-beholder. Or maybe the German reds are just nastier-looking than the British variety.

I don't suppose capturing the greys, dying them red, and releasing them would be an option?
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 07:33 AM   #23
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Aren't there enough bottle redheads?
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 11:25 AM   #24
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Steve,

You hold a degree in biology and you don't think it's an issue if the subgenus of a species becomes extinct?

Wow...
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 12:04 PM   #25
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Blame it all on the Daylight Robbery series and how the plight of the Red Squirrel is ignored because DR made the greys so cute. Insert clips to show why. ;)

It is hard to get folks involved. It is really hard when groups cheapen any real issues with their own reactionary fronts for animals. The Hawai'ian islands are doing fairly well with their invasive species messages to get the rest of HI involved. Maybe a web search on the Hawai'ian program might help get some ideas?
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:28 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ben Scott
Steve,

You hold a degree in biology and you don't think it's an issue if the subgenus of a species becomes extinct?

Wow...
No I didn't say that and I definitely understand the importance of preserving biodiversity, as I thought I said - I'm just curious why it becomes an emotional/political issue for some people. The fact is, species do go extinct from purely natural causes all the time to be replaced with other species and have done so for the entire history of the planet and that process will continue with or without human intervention. Frankly, I am kinda glad Homo neaderthalis has been replaced by Homo sapiens - nudie pitchers on the Net are much more appealing when they're not furry chested and beetle-browed <grin>. Whether or not greys replacing reds in a certain area is an ecologically signfigant event remains to be determined.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:30 PM   #27
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Re Hawaii comment above - Can I recommend http://www.oasisofthepacific.com/

I was going to interview the team that made it for my doc. They're very friendly and helpful and made a great doc about invasive species and the knock-on effects.

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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:45 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Steve House
No I didn't say that - I'm just curious why it becomes an emotional issue for some people. But the fact is, groups of species go extinct all the time to be replaced with other groups, often from purely natural causes. Whether greys replacing reds in a given area is a signfigant event or not remains to be determined.
Ha ha, fair enough.

All campaigning groups, especially wildlife ones, pull on heartstrings whatever the cause, as it's the only way to get people to part with cash when they don't have to. Having worked for one for a year, I found the 'audience manipulation' aspects of the business almost as bad as major commercial marketing campaigns. They even had a word for the animals that would help them bring in more money because of the cuteness factor - They called them the 'charismatics'.

I'm toying with the idea of a doc exposing these more cynical aspects and vast finanacial incentives for environmental charities. But it might hurt the actual causes and I believe in many of them very strongly. A tricky one...

I know we're getting off-topic, but I'd be very interested in hearing of examples of species extinction purely due to natural causes.

Granted, we don't know if the UK will collapse and implode if the red squirrel is made extinct.

Now, should we wait until they're extinct to discover the effects? As it stands, it most certainly IS significant to the red squirrel. We cannot purely judge our actions and how they relate to the rest of the planet in terms of how they are of value to us.

We introduced the grey to these shores and now the reds are all gonna get it. Surely we should do something to redress that before it's too late, no?

Why the heck are Tigers and Pandas more worth saving than squirrels aside from the 'carismatic' status?

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Old August 22nd, 2006, 01:46 PM   #29
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Steve, I think we would all agree if it was a natural course of nature... but they were artificially introduced... so it's not. The reason for making it "emotional" is because he is making a documentary for the masses... you have to make it emotional to make average everyday morons understand the importance... if you didn't then this thread wouldn't exist because everyone would just agree and understand. ;)
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 02:06 PM   #30
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We have a major problem with introduced species taking over down here in Florida. Fireants, Brazillian Pepper trees, and the worst- Snowbirds! They are out of control, and destroying the wilderness. Please help, by sending $19.95 to Re-Relocate-A-Yankee
PO Box 237
Palm Bay, Fl, 32907

:)
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