Perhaps tired of turning around and finding their lunches being sampled upon by rodents, scientists at UC Davis are test-driving a program that’ll tamp down the rapidly multiplying squirrel population on campus. It’s squirrel birth control! Officials say students and faculty will catch the critters and inject them with hormones, then release them back into the wild, where the squirrels will continue to do as squirrels do, except without the tremendous rates of procreation and the itty-bitty progeny.

Officials also said that there were no squirrels–or no nonnative tree squirrels–seven years ago, but that there are 400 now. According to doctoral students, the squirrels can cause grievous harm to people, chew through orchards of almonds and walnuts, eat baby birds and wreck power supplies by snacking on tasty electrical wires.

We’ve heard horror stories about the squirrels at UCLA, but Davis is different in that it’s got 5,300 acres of attractive habitat. And we think we have it bad here.

Image Source: swafo under Creative Commons
UC Davis: Troublesome, Non-native Squirrels Will Get Birth-control Shots [Physorg]

reasonmclucus said:
Nov 10, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Perhaps UC Davis needs more cats which are the natural predators of squirrels. Cats have gotten a bad rap from cartoons which feature cats as the villains who eat those nice little mice which people only think are cute if the mice aren’t in their houses. All ecologies require predators to prevent overpopulation of other animals. Feral cats are among the most desirable urban predators because they don’t get together to form packs like dogs and are too small to attack humans.

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