One of the internet’s largest travel chats was sidetracked into a red squirrel conservation discussion today. Travel Talk on Twitter (#TTOT) became the centre of a reds versus greys lesson when I answered a question about what I would like to do if I were to travel to take part in a Volunteering Project.
I thought I would most enjoy doing a volunteer project about which I am passionate and Red Squirrel Conservation came to mind. I didn’t anticipate the range of comments that ensued as tweeters confessed to not realising that there even were reds in the UK and that they found the greys cute.
I took the position that I would love the greys to flourish but to do so in their native America, thereby allowing conservationists to reestablish the reds across Britain and Ireland. Hopefully in the course of the chat a few people were educated about the plight of greys. Some participants showed that they knew a bit about red squirrels already, Iain Mallory (@MalloryOnTravel) suggested some good spots to view reds such as the Wirral and Scotland.
Dorothée Lefering, a well-established travel blogger (www.thetouristin.com) and tweeter (@DoroLef) who has lived in London and knew that there were greys all over the city thought that the greys were cute. But she had been completely unaware that the greys were an invasive species, introduced from America. Hopefully, once the chat had revealed that greys drive reds from their habitat and pass on the fatal Squirrel Pox to them, Dorothée was persuaded that America was the best place for the “cute” greys and that it would be great to reestablish the reds in the British Isles. She was certainly enthused enough to comment that she was impressed by the passion so many tweeters had for protecting red squirrels and demonstrated her own newfound interest in squirrels with some trivia from Germany where she is based.