The proliferation of squirrels In different provinces it is causing a multiplication of different material damages, as well as generating concern about the diseases that this rodent usually carries. Faced with the possible risks – specialists who could destroy telecommunications cables, attack plantations or transmit leptospirosis – the Ministry of the Environment included to the red-bellied squirrels in the list of invasive alien species present in the national territory.
“Invasive species are one of the main threats to the conservation of biological diversity. Their associated risks may increase due to increased world trade, transport, tourism and climate change. Many of the alien species that become invasive were intentionally transferred for purposes such as the production and contribution of inputs for industry, hunting and their ornamental use, such as pets and others “, explained from the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.
While the main focuses of these animals are currently in Escobar and Luján, are also affected the matches of San Miguel, May 25, Capitán Sarmiento, Salto, Arrecifes and Daireaux. In the City of Buenos Aires, for example, they can be found in large spaces such as the former Esma, the Botanical Garden or in the Agronomy.
“Even in Córdoba they have expanded into Calamuchita, in La Cumbrecita, where they have been taken to some hotels and released there. In Mendoza they are very alert because they can advance to the vineyards and generate a catastrophe in production,” said Florencia Gómez , Secretary of Environmental Policy in Natural Resources of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation.
The history of this type of squirrel is quite unique: fIt was introduced in 1970 in the town of Jáuregui, Luján party, from Belgium, although they are native to Southeast Asia. Initially it was about 10 copies that he brought a man to remember his home in Europe, that they were kept in captivity in a ranch.
However, some of the ten squirrels escaped or were released, leading to a wild population, which today is estimated to reach 100,000 specimens.
According to data from the Ministry of the Environment, with the invasion of squirrels, the plastic breakage of irrigation systems and wiring (electricity, telephone, TV, vehicles, irrigation pumps); breakage of roofs in buildings and other material goods; consumption of flowers, fruits and seeds (loss of harvest, impaired reproduction); Y tree barking in forest, fruit and ornamental plantations.