One of the biggest threats to natural environments worldwide is the prevalence and spread of invasive species. From the microscopic to the continent encompassing humanity has managed to put spread plants and animals to places where they out-compete, directly predate or otherwise harm the native flora and fauna.
In Europe American grey squirrels have driven back native red squirrels to the fringes by spreading a disease that greys are impervious to but red find fatal. In Australia imported grasses swamp native ones. In New Zealand mustelids and possums, feral cats, pigs and goats have driven many native species to extinction. Everywhere humanities 'pets' ravage local wildlife and accidentally introduced rats drive many species like ground nesting birds to the brink.
Some people and governments throw up their hands and declare that the tide cannot be turned while others plod along doing what they can and still others make groundbreaking stands. New Zealand aims to eliminate introduced mammals over the next twenty years. South Georgia has recently been declared rodent free after a ten year battle.
We can all do our bit by helping to weed out invasive plants and take part in programmes to push bake invading species and protect native wildlife.
Red Squirrel United
The red squirrel is the UK’s only native squirrel species and was once widespread across our islands. Red squirrel populations have declined since the introduction of the grey squirrel in 1876, and it is now thought there are less than 140,000 red squirrels left in the wild.