These Cute Little Guys Could Become A UAE Pest…And Fast


A species of squirrel could quickly become a pest in the UAE, a study has found. 

The little critters were first reported in the Ras Al Khaimah back in 2009, known as the five-striped palm squirrels. 

According to the national news agency WAM, the species have since spread to all the emirates – with the exception of Umm Al Quwaim. 

The squirrels are native to India and the species is a serious pest for fruit crops and also eats birds’ eggs.

The animals have been declared an extreme threat in Australia, where they were also introduced. 

There were approximately 50 seen in Sharjah National Park alone in Sharjah last year. 

But how did they get here? 

Local natural history journal, Tribulus published the study, which stated it was likely the animals were introduced to the region as pets, but were subsequently released into the wild. 

“Cute they may be, but they clearly have the potential to become pests here, as they have done in Australia. Given the apparent recent and fast spread of the species in the UAE, it is likely that the population will continue to grow.”

Peter Hellyer and Jacky Judas – authors of the study


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