Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife
and Natural Habitats

Standing Committee

Recommendation No. 123 (2007) of the Standing Committee on limiting the dispersal
of the Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in Italy and other Contracting Parties

(adopted by the Standing Committee on 29 November 2007)

The Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, acting under the terms of Article 14 of the Convention,

Noting that an eradication of the Ticino population of Grey squirrels would delay invasion of the Central Alps and Switzerland of several decades;

Recalling that its Recommendation No. 77 (1999) on the eradication of non-native terrestrial vertebrate asks Contracting Parties to “regulate or even prohibit the deliberate introduction and trade on their territory of certain species of non-native vertebrates”, including the Grey squirrel;

Noting that important trade of Grey squirrels in Italy is still legal;

Regretting that no eradication efforts have been implemented by Italy, as requested by its Recommendations No. 78 (1999) on the conservation of the Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) in Italy and No. 114 (2005)
on the control
of the Grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) and other alien squirrels in Europe;

Noting that an eradication plan has been developed jointly by the INFS, the University of Varese and the University of Turin,

Recommends that Italy:

1.     urge the Lombardia Region and the other competent local authorities to start without further delay the eradication program of the Grey squirrel in the Ticino Valley, so as to significantly delay invasion
of Southern Alps;

Recommends that Contracting Parties:

2.     ban trade and possession of the Grey squirrel;

3.     eradicate new possible introduced populations of Grey squirrels;

Invites Observer states to apply as appropriate points 2 and 3 above.

Invites Contracting Parties, Observer States and organisations to inform the public why such eradication is essential for the conservation of the Red squirrel.