The red squirrel, an endangered species!
One of the greatest threats to biodiversity is the spread of alien species: animals and plants being introduced into new environments where they often alter local biodiversity, even managing to replace native species that have always been present in the area.
Today, the European red squirrel, our native species, is dying out in Britain and Ireland, due to the introduction by man of the American grey squirrel. The grey squirrel is also present in Italy and in the absence of an intervention, even in our country the red squirrel will face extinction. The same problem will involve soon countries bordering with Italy, like France and Switzerland.
A group of local Governments and Universities supported by the European Union and the Ministry of Environment, has started an international programme to protect the red squirrel. The project is called EC-SQUARE or ROSSOSCOIATTOLO (redsquirrel in Italian), and this is its website. Here you will find information on the ecology of our red squirrel, the threats it faces and the various phases of the project.
What you can do
Help us to make everyone more aware of the damage created by invasive species. Who buys an exotic animal in a shop is making the environment run a risk of which he/she is probably unaware. Who releases it in the wild commits a seriously harmful (and illegal) action.
The protection of biodiversity depends on the awareness and cooperation of everyone to conservation projects already in progress, but also on changing our behaviour.
So welcome to this site – and happy reading!