Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels is calling on Scots to lend a hand by recording sightings of red and grey squirrels in their local area this Red Squirrel Week.
The project has created a new online Hub where people all over Scotland can help protect one of the UK’s most threatened species by reporting red and grey squirrel sightings or by getting involved with a local volunteer group.
Over 5000 squirrel sightings were reported by the public last year. With the launch of their new Hub, SSRS looking to hit 10,000 in 2018. Each sighting received is added to a national database, which helps conservationists to monitor changes in red and grey squirrel distribution over time and also enables them to identify the best areas for targeting red squirrel conservation action.
Autumn is a very busy time of year for red squirrels as they take advantage of the season’s bountiful supply of nuts, seeds, berries and fungi; making it an ideal time for squirrel sightings. As well as looking up to the treetops to spot squirrels, people should also keep an eye on the forest floor where squirrels will be caching some of this food to see them through the colder winter months.
Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Many of us have a soft spot for red squirrels and sighting one in the flesh is an exciting but sadly, increasingly rare experience.
“Thanks to National Lottery players’ support, organisations and communities can now join forces to help protect and care for Scotland’s red squirrel population.”
Find out how to get involved with Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels