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5 hours ago, Martlandhw100 said:

Has anyone read this article? And what do you think?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/science-environment-55817385

Last year, it tested special feeding stations designed so only grey squirrels can gain access in woodland in East Yorkshire.

Instead of contraceptives, the hazelnut paste bait was dosed with a dye that, when ingested, causes squirrel hair to fluoresce under UV light.

The researchers found that more than 90% of the grey squirrel population being studied visited the traps.

They concluded that it was possible to deliver repeat doses of a contraceptive to the majority of grey squirrels in a wood.

............

I wouldn't worry about it, cost alone will probably prohibit it,  then there will be areas where access is denied,  feeders will get damaged allowing non target species to take the contraceptive. 

For me it's all about pleasing the cuddly bunny brigade,  greys need controlling but control doesn't come easily. 

The quote above says 90% of squirrels came to the traps, great stuff 90% of greys removed would make a massive difference. 

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This is onky in a very small area , these people rarely look at the big picture and as you say, they are using a chemical which could harm other species, wood mice for instance, then owls ???

A concerted effort by all land/wodland owners to allow access to dedicated squirrel shooters on a National basis will any headway be made into the greys in the countryside.  In the town a different story. NOW, they could start with this experiment in the gardens surrounding the Royal Parks and golf courses in London even No 10 Downing Street for full publicity value.

by the way only one seen this morning and I think I skidded a round past it (posh way of saying missed) but it went off like a scalded cat and di not show again.  Feeders now being hit hard.  It was a glorious morning about -3 and a superb dawn sunrise.

 

 

 

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Edited by Walker570
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It would not remove 90% because those tree rats would survive to continue doing damage. How long does a tree rat live ?? and the other 10% would be shelling out tens of thousands more each year. Just how many doses of this chemical will they have and who will be going round to every location to administer it.  Total balderdash even more ridiculous than doing the same this with badgers.  They really do not live in the real world.

Edited by Walker570
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15 minutes ago, Walker570 said:

It would not remove 90% because those tree rats would survive to continue doing damage

I was meaning if 90% came to traps, then they could be removed. 

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1 hour ago, Mice! said:

I was meaning if 90% came to traps, then they could be removed. 

Hah!!   Thought it meant the 90% which ate the chemical making them redundant but still alive.

You know as well as me that thise all rubbish.  I can't even get on top of what is in my area on my own, so how many re going to be employed visiting EVERY piece of woodland, copse, hedgerow, AND town centre.  They really do not live in the real world.

The culling of badgers did work because it reduced the overpopulation to sensible numbers and both the badgers and the environment benefitted. BUT it did not wipe badgers out which was not the aim.

I do not believe we can ever reduce the numbers of greys by chemical means but at least we can reduce numbers by shooting and trapping where allowed to protect the songbird population and to some extent trees.   You notice the damage to songbirds is never mentioned.

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I know this sound a bit exstream but you where saying about passing on this chemical on to owl bird of prey etc but also just thinking of small birds in nesting season when they pull fur and bits out of the dead quirrals out for nesting Shirley that could be passed on as well ?,Also agree with you all crazy ideas these people up above have,no idea no idea no idea.

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1 hour ago, bruno22rf said:

Has nobody given any consideration to any Squirrel that may be catholic?

Hah!! :lol:  I never thought of that and they obviously had not either which is a wonder because it seems anyhting is an excuse these days.

Well  I sat on a flip top this morning four two and a half hours and all I saw was songbirds, one cock pheasant and two wood pigeons.  It does seem that I have cleaned out the vast majority of tree rats from this end of the wood.

I need to get in at the other end as it is a very large block but public access/paths and no really suitable location to set up makes it difficult. 

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I wonder what time of the year they tested this bait? We all know that not all bait stations work all year round. I am with Mice, trapping stops damage and reduces the population with immediate effect and it works when the shooter cannot be there. Then the odd one that is trap shy can be polished off by shooting.

It is a shame that the days of youngsters earning pocket money from the bounty on squirrel tails has past.

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These gas operated traps seem to work and they do keep a log..upto ten ... of squirrels killed. To my mind that is the very best form of contraceptive I know of as well as 40g of lead.  There again a huge effort and manpower is required to cover the country because miss one 40 acre wood and all will be in vain.

They are tree rats so let's face it normal brown rats seem to beat the system raged against them with the country covered with professionals who have been trying to eliminate them for years and years and failing.  You are said never to be more than 10 mtrs from a brown rat.  Think about it.  With wuffly duffly fluffy lovers there will always bee a breeding population of greys in our cities and towns AND villages (have one next door).  Who is paying these scientists ?  Hope it is not the tax payer.

Edited by Walker570
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Just been chatting to the land manager on my 5k acre woodland sites. As nobody is keen on shooting at the moment he's had to put these gas traps out in an attempt to kill a few of the greys - as we were speaking he said 2 Squizzers were running around in front of him. He inspects the feeders occasionally as people are paid to fill them but he has found 3 that were reportedly filled this morning but were empty so someone is about to lose their job. I'm out on them tommorow but it seems strange that nobody else can be bothered, he has assured me that if anybody approaches me he is easily contactable to assure them that the work is essential.

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Well I was out today and was greeted by a beautiful, if cold, morning. Had only just got in the wood when four fallow deer crossed my path, what a lovely sight, of course the jays had spotted me and set up their normal racket warning everything. Got to the feeding box and got settled in and for half an hour absolutely nothing, not a sound but when I looked up Mr Squirrel was there, I don't know if it heard me but he was looking stright at me and as soon as I raised the gun he was off, imagine my surprise when he appeared 5 yards closer at a pheasant feeder, o what a lovely target, damn he's off again, obviously knows how to annoy folk, next time I see him he's away up in the trees and gone. Another two hours goes by and nothing so just half a chance, what a tease🤬

The peanuts in the feeding boxes have hardly gone down so really did miss a chance.

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2 hours ago, bruno22rf said:

put these gas traps out in an attempt to kill a few of the greys

There was something on Facebook about these, people have said for a long time they don't work, the squirrels aren't interested in them, but someone changed it so the jar that has the bait in holds nuts the the squirrels can see, and started getting results. 

5 hours ago, 243deer said:

I wonder what time of the year they tested this bait? We all know that not all bait stations work all year round. I am with Mice, trapping stops damage and reduces the population with immediate effect and it works when the shooter cannot be there. Then the odd one that is trap shy can be polished off by shooting.

It is a shame that the days of youngsters earning pocket money from the bounty on squirrel tails has past.

Trapping certainly works but is very costly and time consuming,  that's why most trapping is done by contractors,  I was also wondering what time of year they did the test, but because they weren't actually trapping and killing the greys , just feeding them it would have been far less time consuming. 

1 hour ago, ratchers said:

Well I was out today and was greeted by a beautiful, if cold, morning. Had only just got in the wood when four fallow deer crossed my path, what a lovely sight, of course the jays had spotted me and set up their normal racket warning everything. Got to the feeding box and got settled in and for half an hour absolutely nothing, not a sound but when I looked up Mr Squirrel was there, I don't know if it heard me but he was looking stright at me and as soon as I raised the gun he was off, imagine my surprise when he appeared 5 yards closer at a pheasant feeder, o what a lovely target, damn he's off again, obviously knows how to annoy folk, next time I see him he's away up in the trees and gone. Another two hours goes by and nothing so just half a chance, what a tease🤬

The peanuts in the feeding boxes have hardly gone down so really did miss a chance.

I had a similar morning,  I worked O/T last night so should have been in bed but the forecast looked so good I had to go out.

I topped this feeder up Thursday at BIG wood, I wasn't expecting much to have happened but wanted to get out.

It was a glorious morning,  lovely and cold but without any wind, I was actually caught out by how early it came light with there being no cloud, but I was in the wood set up by 8.

I found the feeder almost empty! Probably 7kg of feed gone with a pile of wheat below the feeder. I then basically bird watched for an hour and a half,  all the usual suspects including a pair of woodpeckers,  no pheasant and no squirrels. 

I just couldn't work it out,  it was perfect conditions so after an hour and a half I went walk about, @Sciurus knows what the ground is like here, I went one way up the hill but saw nothing then came back on myself,  I probably wasn't as far from my feeder as I thought, 400-500 yards, and there were squirrels happily rooting around in the leaf litter, I put the gun up twice but they were a long way off and not settled so I didn't shoot, I'd come up to a deer fence, no way past but the squirrels seemed happy beyond it?

Looks like its time to move the feeder.

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10 hours ago, Morkin said:

I know this sound a bit exstream but you where saying about passing on this chemical on to owl bird of prey etc but also just thinking of small birds in nesting season when they pull fur and bits out of the dead quirrals out for nesting Shirley that could be passed on as well ?,Also agree with you all crazy ideas these people up above have,no idea no idea no idea.

If you read the papers produced by scientists or speak to them as I do on a regular basis the contraceptive is ingested and is not passed on in carrion once it’s ingested. It is only effective in mammals which is why they are spending so much time in trying to find a hopper to ensure it is only accessible to grey squirrels. That’s the difficult thing.

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4 hours ago, Walker570 said:

These gas operated traps seem to work and they do keep a log..upto ten ... of squirrels killed. 

A couple of years ago our Society bought 2 of the Gas operated Goodnature traps and monitored their success with trail cameras. The results were disappointing, I think they were only getting 3 shots out of a gas cylinder (seal problems) and unfortunately  non target species were able to enter the trap! The traps were returned for a refund. 

I was out for 3 hours today (without gun), topping up feeders and thermal spotting. Two feeders were cleared out and one wasn’t touched. I also recced a wood that hadn’t been shot for years - didn’t see a thing red or grey, even though I know there are both out there. It was the same last Friday. They are not turning up in gardens yet- they seem to keeping well hidden in the woods.  I’ll just have to start to get up earlier in the morning and freeze my nuts off at the feeders.

@Mice!, for what it’s worth, I think it’s worth putting another feeder out in a warmer section of your wood and seeing what happens. Isn’t there some firs on the other side of the deer fence? At least you know where some of them are now playing.

If I recall correctly, I think the squirrel contraceptive is in its third or fourth year of a five year research project. Eating the bait once or twice will lead to long term contraception, which is a much more socially acceptable form of grey squirrel control and is ideal for publicity adverse organisations such as FC and Local Authorities. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard what will happen if an infertile grey is eaten by BoP or badgers. Locally, I don’t think anyone will be upset if some badgers become infertile!

@Fisheruk- I was writing this as you posted the above. I didn’t know (or paying full attention) the contraceptive was ingested and not passed on

Edited by Sciurus
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3 minutes ago, Sciurus said:

. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard what will happen if an infertile grey is eaten by BoP or badgers. Locally, I don’t think anyone will be upset if some badgers become infertile!

 

The product which is being used will sterilise any mammal, including humans. Once ingested it cannot affect anything that eats the carcass of an animal which has previously consumed it as carrion. It does not affect avian.

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1 hour ago, Fisheruk said:

The product which is being used will sterilise any mammal, including humans. Once ingested it cannot affect anything that eats the carcass of an animal which has previously consumed it as carrion. It does not affect avian.

Thank for that very helpful info and keep up the good work tagether.

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1 hour ago, Fisheruk said:

The product which is being used will sterilise any mammal, including humans. Once ingested it cannot affect anything that eats the carcass of an animal which has previously consumed it as carrion. It does not affect avian.

How do you mean, once they've eaten it a few times, they are permanently infertile or do they have to keep eating it periodically, a bit like the pill.

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Well that is good news, now we want to know how many will be employed to spread this stuff around. We cannot even get folks out in the shooting community to kill them in numbers.  It will be another arrow in our quiver that's all.

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1 hour ago, ratchers said:

How do you mean, once they've eaten it a few times, they are permanently infertile or do they have to keep eating it periodically, a bit like the pill.

No, it is likely they will be sterile 

1 hour ago, Walker570 said:

Well that is good news, now we want to know how many will be employed to spread this stuff around. We cannot even get folks out in the shooting community to kill them in numbers.  It will be another arrow in our quiver that's all.

Yes another tool in the box, very useful in those urban areas where the public would not tolerate lethal means.

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So this morning I took the kids to school and decided to pop to the small wood for an hour before taking the dog for a walk she was with me mind.
On arrival driving down the track I stop in line with one of the feeders and noticed a gray feeding so I go and park the car get the leshiy loaded and creep around the back of the building and along the edge of it until I have a clear shot through the trees and onto the feeder, I was just behind an old flatbed trailer so had a stable rest.
I ranged the squirrel and it was 20m away, so I line him up between the eye and the ear and squeeze the trigger.
A solid thump was heard as the 15.89 grain hades hit the mark. The squirrel dropped like a sack of spuds and twitched ones and that was it job done.
I decided to take the dog to the big wood just down the road I needed to fill the feeder anyway so kill to birds off I went I didn't take the leshiy as the food was in my bag so it wouldn't of fit as well.
Filled the feeder up and checked the camera and there has been a squirrel or two on the feeder everyday since my last visit but at different times. Today was 7.44 yesterday was between 12.45 and 1.23 and the day before that was 5.30pm so looks like I'll have to spend at least half a day there and hopefully they come when I'm there.
 
 
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16 hours ago, Fisheruk said:

If you read the papers produced by scientists or speak to them as I do on a regular basis the contraceptive is ingested and is not passed on in carrion once it’s ingested. It is only effective in mammals which is why they are spending so much time in trying to find a hopper to ensure it is only accessible to grey squirrels. That’s the difficult thing.

Please point me in the direction of the science proving the non the non transmissibility.

What about Brock and Fred?

It would be IMHO, a very brave Council or organisation that allowed that stuff on any area that the public had access to? Imagine children being affected? I hope they have very deep pockets.

Really not thought out for the end user at all?

Edited by old man
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5 hours ago, old man said:

Please point me in the direction of the science proving the non the non transmissibility.

What about Brock and Fred?

It would be IMHO, a very brave Council or organisation that allowed that stuff on any area that the public had access to? Imagine children being affected? I hope they have very deep pockets.

Really not thought out for the end user at all?

Have a look at the UK Squirrel Accord website 

 

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An hour and a half's work this afternoon. First feeder was busy when I got there and the first 3 fell within 5 minutes but another kept hopping around in the trees flicking his tail for ages, took about 15 minutes for him to venture down low enough for me to take a shot and, as it is doing time and time again, the S510 dropped him on the spot. Second small woodland did not look promising and the feeder had hardly been touched but a handful of peanuts enticed  the first victim into range and proved his downfall, as I lined him up I thought I was seeing double but a quick peek over the scope revealed a second customer sitting in exactly the same manner some 30 yards away, the first shot scared him up a little higher but he was still there and settling the crosshairs on his neck saw him fall stone dead. Hand on heart the S510 is now on 25 kills for 25 shots.

squizzers2.jpg

squizzers.jpg

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