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Gallery: Migrant creatures causing havoc in Suffolk

12:00 08 February 2013

Grey squirrels have depleted the red squirrel populationby spreading squirrel pox

Grey squirrels have depleted the red squirrel populationby spreading squirrel pox

CREATURES released into the English countryside by well-meaning members of the public are causing a nuisance, according to one wildlife fanatic.


Out photographing the flora and fauna of Suffolk in recent weeks, nature enthusiasts Brian and Margaret Holland, of Ipswich, have come across several newcomers that have ‘become a nuisance and a threat to out native wildlife’.

Photos of some of these pests can be seen in the gallery, above right. But this is just the tip of the iceberg, according to Mr Holland.

He said: “The Himalayan balsam is a nightmare on river banks, taking over completely and almost all attempts to control it have failed. However bees love it.”

Referring to the grey squirrel, he said it has depleted the native red squirrel population by spreading the squirrel pox to which the greys are immune.

Not all migrants that have gone on to settle here are a nuisance.

“The little egrets are beautiful birds,” said Mr Holland. “And have even started to breed here despite not being a native bird.”

He continued: “The same applies to the Egyptian goose a colourful bird but one that is pugnacious and to the mind of many a nuisance.”

The deer is a creature the Hollands have spent many an hour photographing, along with many of our iwitness members.

But they are not all sweetness and light.

“Deer have a ‘ahhh’ factor but the muntjac is a pest and destroys the saplings and newly planted trees and they are now everywhere.

The Chinese water deer are delightful looking but they too present problems for the UK habitat,” said Mr Holland.

Also on their list of pesty migrants are the signal crayfish, which is destroying out native crayfish, and even the collared dove which is now “getting out of hand”.

Mr Holland added: “Everyone knows about Canadian geese, these real nuisance in parks and public areas.”

“Like all of these species, they have been released or introduced by well-intentioned people but with little or no thought long term of the effect.”

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  • Oh! how I wish all immigrants were as little trouble as those mentioned above.

    Report this comment

    Brian Betts

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • Are you sure its not a mammoth - I think they found mammoth fossils in the cliffs, so they must be native.

    Report this comment


    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Not forgetting Homo metropolitanus, an assertive summer visitor which seeks out the best nesting sites for itself, often displacing native populations that have been resident for generations. After a brief, flamboyant visit, they return to their wintering sites in the city.

    Report this comment

    Origami Penguin

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • That'sr ight-let's blame all the ills of the natural world on immigrants! Poor grey squirrels!

    Report this comment


    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • I must say that the elephant released in the field at the back of my house has ruined the grass and most of the bushes are trashed. Bet my roses look perky this year though

    Report this comment


    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • Why then does i witness regularly feature grey squirrels? The article also forgot to mention the biggest pest to wildlife the domestic cat which kill millions of birds and mammals and are second only to Homo Sapiens.

    Report this comment

    John W

    Thursday, February 7, 2013

  • An extermination programme relating to grey squirrels should have been instigated years ago - Suffolk landowners should be given grants to shoottrap all greys and begin reinstaing red squirrels back to their rightful place in our countryside.

    Report this comment


    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • So in true human nature lets destroy everytning that is not here indigeously then shall we? who's fault is it they are all here in the first place? man has ruined this planet not squirrels, foxes, badgers, deer and cats, man and man alone who will continue to interfere and kill and concrete over, thats progress!!!

    Report this comment

    C Smith

    Friday, February 8, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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