This was just in today's YAHOO NEWS. Seems that the Irish are blaming the British for the decline of the Red Squirrel population!
DUBLIN (AFP) - Ireland's red squirrels, which are threat from their more aggressive grey British cousins, are to be thrown a lifeline under a plan published Sunday by the environment ministry.
The red squirrel is one of the most threatened mammals in Ireland but the collaborative rescue plan involving the authorities in both the Republic and British-ruled Northern Ireland is an effort to reverse the decline.
Measures to conserve the reds will include rope bridges in their areas and forestry better suited to reds than greys.
Translocation projects will move reds to areas where there is less competition from greys and officials are reviewing international research on immuno-contraception as a means of controlling greys.
"The red squirrel is one of our most iconic and beautiful species and this plan gives details of the actions we need to undertake to ensure that this beautiful animal remains a viable part of our biodiversity," said Green Party Environment Minister John Gormley.
Recent survey work has shown that the species is declining at about one percent a year mainly as a result of competition from grey squirrels introduced from Britain less than 100 years ago.
There are now only 40,000 pairs of red squirrels in Ireland.
Squirrels Briefly Kill Power In Two Cities 11/20/2007 (Associated Press)
ASHLAND, Wis. - It was an unlucky day for two squirrels and hundreds of Midwestern power customers.
Brian Elwood, a spokesman for Xcel Energy, said a squirrel came in contact with an overhead transformer and knocked out service to 177 customers Monday. Power was fully restored in just under an hour, and repair crews found the remains of the "unfortunate squirrel," he said.
By coincidence, another squirrel got into a substation 40 miles away in Ironwood, Mich., Monday morning and caused a temporary outage that affected about 1,400 customers in Ironwood and two nearby communities, Elwood said.
The utility takes many preventive steps to keep the curious animals away from lines, he said, but they are one of the leading causes of outages, trailing only severe weather.
"We kind of liken it to anyone who's had a bird feeder and tried to keep the squirrels out," he said. "They find a way."
Rodney Johnson was stuck on an elevator at the city's Enterprise Center, where he works, when the power went out.
"For a couple of minutes there, I wasn't sure if I'd make it to Thanksgiving," said Johnson, who said he is somewhat claustrophobic. "They kept talking to me while they were trying to open it up, though, so that helped."
Once a firefighter opened the door, Johnson wasted no time in getting out.