A new worry has emerged for those that would like to freeze nature in time: the rise of the black squirrel, as reported by the BBC. Apparently the result of a rare genetic mutation that only affects colour, these are basically exactly the same as grey squirrels, apart from the obvious difference.

It's thought that they must have been brought across from America at some point in the fairly distant past. Anecdotally the UK population seems to be gradually increasing in numbers and spreading, with a decent foothold across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. Seeing as they are fundamentally the same critter, the blacks are not competing with the greys – it's all just one big inter-breeding population as far as they're concerned, aesthetic preferences aside – but the black gene is dominant so tends to show itself as it gets passed on.

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