Birth control isn’t just for humans anymore — apparently squirrels are next up to receive contraception.
According to the BBC, the UK government is backing a program that would lower the grey squirrel population by administering an oral contraceptive to them. They’d do this by infusing the birth control into a hazelnut spread and placing it in feeding boxes for the critters to consume. The government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency believes this could reduce the squirrel’s 3 million population by as much as 90%.
As for why they want to limit the amount of grey squirrels in the population, a partnership of conservation and forestry organizations called the UK Squirrel Accord (UKSA) says that the rodents are wreaking havoc on their woodlands by stripping bark from young trees, particularly oak, which supports many other species, the outlet reports, which would work against global warming efforts.