Scotland’s red squirrels are recovering

Red Squirrels

Red squirrels have seen a surge in numbers in Scotland’s north east and have stabilised nationwide, according to conservation researchers.

Results from Scotland’s Red Squirrels 2017 survey show that their population has stopped shrinking across the country.

The most positive results reveal that there has been a “significant” boost in numbers around Aberdeen.

Red squirrels are also starting to appear in previously abandoned areas.

Conservation officer Mary-Anne Collis said: “In the central lowlands, red squirrels are holding their ground and as a result we’ve started to see them in areas where they haven’t been seen for a long time.

“This is particularly noticeable to the south and east of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, which is now predominantly a red-only zone.

“If it wasn’t for our fantastic volunteers that brave the unpredictable spring weather to help us with these surveys then we wouldn’t be able to see the positive impact that our conservation work is having.”

Grey squirrels, which were introduced to Britain from North America in the 19th Century, out-compete the reds for resources.

They can also carry squirrelpox, a virus that does not harm them but is deadly to reds.

Since 2011, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels has been monitoring populations in the parts of the country where the rodents are most under threat from non-native greys. There are an estimated 138,000 reds in the UK, according to Trees for Life.

Read the full article at BBC News.

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