This invasive grey squirrel was spotted in Kelowna City Park last weekend. With no funding allocated to deal with the species, the population will continue to grow says a TRU researcher. (Carli Berry/Capital News)

‘Zero’ effort being made to tackle invasive grey squirrels in Kelowna parks

Invasive grey squirrels have taken over the Okanagan

They’re furry, cute and displacing their neighbours.

Roughly seven years ago, Thompson Rivers University professor Karl Larsen warned the City of Kelowna of the devastation caused to native red squirrels by the invasive Eastern grey ones.

READ MORE: Furry invaders continue to take over Okanagan

Moving up from the West Coast, the grey squirrels can be spotted in nearly every park in the Central Okanagan.

“There has been absolutely nothing done with the squirrels since (two years ago),” said Larson. “There’s no monitoring, so I can’t even tell you where they have spread to. Zero movement from the government at all levels, and I’m pretty sure that’s how it will stay. It seems like a dead duck in terms of management.”

As they aren’t territorial, grey squirrels move into areas where native red squirrels live. The red squirrels are forced out of their habitat as the larger squirrels move in.

READ MORE: There’s a new invader in town

Bruce Smith, communications officer with the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, said nothing has been done because the squirrels haven’t posed a problem.

“Nothing’s changed, there’s been nothing going from the (regional district) board and no direction from the board in this regard,” he said, adding the squirrels haven’t caused significant issues for the Central Okanagan in the parks or affected other the animals.

The regional district doesn’t have a specific threshold on when to decide to intervene, but if it starts to notice a problem, it will be addressed, Smith said.

READ MORE: Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

READ MORE: Letter: Creating paranoia around squirrels

READ MORE: Squirrels are damaging some maple syrup operations


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

Big off-season changes, the Memorial Cup; it’s all coming together for Bruce Hamilton

$13 million Kelowna cannabis facility deal terminated

GTEC Holdings did not give a reason for the purchase’s cancellation

Study paints positive financial situation for WFN

A study suggests WFN leading the way in generating financial revenue for its members

Lake Country aims to find happy-medium in Airport Inn shutdown

Airport Inn residents will have until Oct. 5. to find a new home unless an appeal is approved

West Kelowna’s new Goats Peak Park opening

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan bought the property 5 years ago

Yearbook photo surfaces of Trudeau wearing ‘brownface’ costume in 2001

The report describes the occasion as an ‘Arabian Nights’-themed gala event

Vernon race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

Man arrested after allegedly stealing race flags, assaulting woman in Kalamalka Lake park

Penticton man with multiple driving infractions loses appeal on ‘harsh’ sentence

Driver has been convicted multiple times, including for criminal negligence causing death

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Chilliwack woman wins right to medically assisted death after three-year court battle

Julia Lamb has been the lead plaintiff in a legal battle to ease restrictions on Canada’s assisted dying laws

Most Read