Does anyone know what has happened to the gray squirrel population?

If you ask me, your missing grey squirrels have all moved to Britain, to make life miserable for our islands’ original and proper inhabitants of the squirrel kind. Our native squirrel – the British sub-species of the Eurasian red squirrel, Sciurus vulgaris – has been losing ground for well over a century, to the American grey squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis. Fairly late in the nineteenth century, well-meaning but foolish people introduced some American grey squirrels to the southern parts of England, thinking that they would make a pleasant addition to the country’s wildlife.

Unfortunately, the American grey squirrel proved hardier and more adaptable than its British red counterpart; the introduced greys multiplied, and Darwinian selection came into play – they have in various ways out-competed the native red species, which between then and now has ongoingly dwindled in numbers, and its range has shrunk to areas – principally now far to the north and west of Great Britain – to which the grey squirrel has not yet spread. Almost-extinction for the red squirrel, is ultimately foreseen.

Grey squirrels are IMO quite lovable; it’s just that I find the native red kind (which can be encountered, if you know where to go) nicer – and resent its ousting by the interlopers from across the Atlantic.

We’ll take back the squirrels when you take back the starlings. :frowning:

Well, if they’d all gone gay, that’d certainly explain the dip in population levels!

Ah, yes, America’s starling scourge… if I’m right, you have to thank for that, the genius who wanted to introduce to America every species of bird mentioned by Shakespeare.

Actually, starlings – like a number of other till recently ubiquitous and very common bird species – are becoming rather scarce in a good many parts of Britain.