UAE farmers say squirrels are destroying their crops

Staff Reporter /Ras Al Khaimah Filed on November 8, 2020

Traps alone are not helping as there are just too many of them, Emirati farm owners say

Several Emirati farmers in Ras Al Khaimah have blamed squirrels for damaging their plants, particularly palm seedlings.

Abdullah Salem, an Emirati farmer, said many squirrels have been spotted in the southern parts of the emirate — Azan, Hamraniya, Daqdaqa and Khiran.

Their numbers swell “quickly”, he said, adding that the squirrels hide in mangrove trees and “mainly feed on dates”.

Rashid Al Khatri, another Emirati farmer, said the squirrels were first reported some three years ago. He said the rodents are hard to catch. “We have used traps, but there are just too many of them destroying our crops.”

Abdullah Khalfan, another Emirati, said he first noticed the squirrels two years back in his farm in the Hamraniya area. “Their numbers have significantly increased since then. They have destroyed so many plants, particularly dates, which they like the most.”

Official vows to take action

Dr Saif Al Ghais, executive director of the Environment and Protection Authority, Ras Al Khaimah, said field teams will be dispatched immediately to the affected areas to stop the rodents from destroying the plants.

Staff Reporter

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