Mapping help plea made
A plea has gone out for help creating a squirrel map of the Stewartry.
The Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project wants people to tell them when and where they see the animals – greys as well – so they can create the maps pinpointing areas where they can be found.
The region is home to a large number of red squirrels but numbers have fallen rapidly in recent years due to the increasing number of the larger greys.
The organisation’s conservation officer, Dr Stephanie Johnstone, said: “People in many parts of Dumfries and Galloway are fortunate to be living so close to red squirrels and are very used to having them around.
“Places like Gatehouse of Fleet, New Galloway and New Abbey are havens for red squirrels, yet our current sightings map would make anyone think they were grey dominated areas.
“It is true that small numbers of grey squirrels are moving into these areas and it’s fantastic that local people understand how important it is that we know about these sightings, but reporting red squirrel sightings is equally important.
“It helps us monitor the impact our work is having, and know where to focus our efforts and limited resources.
“Plus, we want to show the rest of the country what a great place Dumfries and Galloway currently is for red squirrels, and demonstrate that they are still worth saving!”
Squirrel sightings can be reported using www. scottishsquirrels.org.uk.
Photo: Raymond Leinster