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THE red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) has been in decline in Great Britain for several decades. The total population is currently estimated as 160,000, located in various areas but mostly concentrated in Scotland. A number of factors have been suggested to explain this decline, but it is now becoming apparent that the most important influence is the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), which is the subclinical vector for squirrelpox virus (SQPV), a disease with high mortality in red squirrels. Other less common viruses, such as adenovirus and rotavirus, have been described recently (Everest and others 2009, 2010). These can also …
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