Red squirrel sensitive to gray squirrel virus

The native red squirrel, which is almost entirely ousted in Great Britain by the American gray variant, is suffering severely of a virus carried by the gray variant.
Up to now it was assumed that gray squirrels are elbowing out red squirrels by Being stronger and better in finding food. Latest research from several British universities have shown, however, that a virus is responsible for the disappearing of the red squirrel.

The gray squirrel was imported from North America to Great Britain about hundred years ago. The aim was to temper the population of red squirrels. In the south of Great Britain there are now sixty times as many gray squirrels as there are red squirrels.
According to the researchers the gray squirrel is threatening to conquer the last areas where the red squirrel still forms the majority, like the Isle of Wight and the south of Scotland. They therefore plead to protect the red squirrel by catching and killing the gray variant. In the Netherlands, the majority of squirrels still consists of the red variant.