Friday, February 8, 2013
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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