As it is autumn and officially red squirrel week I thought we would look at this beautiful mammal. Some fun facts about red squirrels are that they do not hibernate and also you can tell if a squirrel is left or right handed on a pine cone by how they have eaten it. The red squirrel has been under threat from the non-native grey squirrels due to them carrying ‘squirrelpox’ which the greys are not affected by. This has been one of the main causes of the dwindling numbers over the years, as well as habitat loss caused by humans. There is some fantastic news though! The numbers are now increasing due to projects such as the trap loan- scheme through Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels. This scheme has seen the reduction in grey squirrels which in turn has helped in the increase in the red squirrel population in Scotland.
© Andy Wakelin
Sightings at Montrose Basin have been scarce although there were two sightings on July 1st and 2nd at our feeders spotted by our volunteers. More recently there has been one on the 1st September in our car park spotted by our ranger. Best places to spot them are coniferous forests and woodland areas. Have you had any sightings of red or grey squirrels? Then report your sightings on the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels homepage.
© John Glen
– Marie-Anne Brown (Visitors Centre Assistant)