Red squirrel project calls on the public to use updated squirrel spotter

A ground-breaking project aiming to safeguard the native red squirrel from extinction in Scotland has launched a new website and is calling on the public to try the updated squirrel reporting feature.

Packed full of brand new content, such as blogs, video and updates, will help supporters keep up-to-date with all the latest from the project.

A key improvement is the update to the squirrel reporting feature to make recording red and grey squirrels much easier. The new website works with the GPS on mobile devices to pinpoint a user’s location. Hopefully, this will mean more accurate data for the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels team.

Since 1952, 95% of red squirrels in England and Wales have been wiped out. Today, 75% of the UK’s remaining population is found in Scotland.

Project Manager for Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, Mel Tonkin, said: “Red squirrels are an iconic Scottish species that the public loves. This new website will allow people to learn more about red squirrels, the project itself and more of what happens behind the scenes.

“The update to the squirrel reporting feature is a great step forward. Since the start of our online recording page in 2010, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels has received around 10,000 reports of red and grey squirrels. These are vital in enabling the project to monitor changes in squirrel distributions over a much wider area than we can cover ourselves.

“There are always gaps in our records so to create the most accurate picture of squirrel populations we need many more. I would urge people to continue to report squirrels in each new area they encounter each year. The update is very user-friendly and means sightings can be recorded as soon as someone spots a red or grey squirrel.

“We are inviting people to bookmark on their mobiles and try reporting a sighting the next time they see either a red or grey squirrel.”

Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels is a partnership project between the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates, and the Red Squirrel Survival Trust.