Invasive grey squirrels threaten red squirrels - can anything be done?

Lecture Theatre B34, Birkbeck, University of London,
Torrington Square,
United Kingdom

Invasive grey squirrels threaten red squirrels: can anything be done?


Speaker: Prof Gurnell, Queen Mary, University of London.

Friday 8th March, 18.30

Lecture theatre B34, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London.

John Gurnell is Professor of Ecology at Queen Mary, University of London and has carried out research on the behaviour, ecology and welfare of mammals for more than 40 years. He applies much of the knowledge gained to the management of mammals in the wild and captivity. A focus of his research has concerned squirrels.

The red squirrel Sciurus vulgaris has been listed by the Government as a priority species for conservation in the UK biodiversity action plan. Its distribution in Britain has decreased considerably over the past 80-90 years as a result of the spread of the alien grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis from North America. John Gurnell has contributed significantly to providing evidence to the Government and its agencies on how to deliver effective management of red and grey squirrels through studies on surveillance and monitoring strategies, processes involved in direct and disease-mediated competition between red and grey squirrels, and forest design plans for red squirrel conservation. Against the historical backdrop, this talk will review the present position of red and grey squirrels in Britain and Mainland Europe and consider what the future might bring.


Free Lecture Series, Birkbeach, Ecology and Conservation Studies Society and Linnean Society of London.

Wildlife is greatly valued by many of us, but some gives rise to conflicts. Do we all want to see raptors increasing? What about field sports? Can we do anything to stem the inexorable spread of Grey Squirrels at the expense of the native Reds? How best can we halt the spread of TB in cattle, knowing that Badgers carry the disease? Will High Speed Rail cause ecological severance? Most of us would like to see rats controlled, but how far should pest control extend, as far as Feral Pigeons?

Click here for a map to Birkbeck College (marked as '1').