Majority favours removal of all grey squirrels

A RECENT survey has shown that 82% of the Scottish public as opposed to 68% nationally, believe that grey squirrels should be controlled in some way in order to save Britain’s native red squirrel population, according to a recent survey.

The survey, commissioned by the European Squirreel Initiative, also showed that over 78% in Scotland (74% nationally) were aware that the grey squirrel is responsible for the decline in the population of the red squirrel.

The survey, conducted in January for ESI by NEMS Market Research, revealed that over 74% (65% nationally) were in favour of the removal of all grey squirrels if a non-lethal method of control could be introduced, such as contraception.

“These are remarkable figures and showed high awareness and recognition of the threat posed by grey squirrels,” said Miles Barne, chairman of the European Squirrel Initative.

“It is also encouraging to see that there is a real demand amongst the public to control the grey squirrel to protect our native red,” he added.

The survey also indicated that across the UK in the 16-24 age group, 74.7% of those questioned were in favour of grey control.

“It is good to see that amongst the younger respondents there is such a realisation of the problem and recognition that grey squirrel control is a most effective way of protecting the red squirrel,” commented Mr Barne.

The 1,000+ people questioned in this survey were taken from a random representative sample of the adult population in the UK.