Red and gray squirrel dispersals in Europe
While Red squirrels are native to Eurasia, Grey squirrels were introduced to the United Kingdom in the Victorian era (in the 1890s). The traditional view is that they are distributed rapidly across the United Kingdom because of their capacity to cope with new landscapes.
Wherever grey squirrels are imported, red squirrels eventually become extinct due to grey out-competing them.
The other issue is that Grey squirrels in the United Kingdom carry a squirrel pox virus that doesn't kill them but is lethal to red squirrels.
The Italian Grey Squirrels don't presently have squirrel pox, so they're substantially less dangerous to Red squirrels.
The map below shows Red and Gray squirrel dispersals in Europe.
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