Public are asked to see red with survey
VISITORS to and residents of Scotland’s first national park are being called upon to help monitor endangered red squirrels in the area.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project are working together to strengthen the red squirrel population within the national park, a nationally important refuge for the native species.
People are being asked to help the annual survey of red squirrels by reporting any sightings of them and grey squirrels online.
Red squirrels are in danger in Scotland because of the spread of non-native greys, which not only compete for food and space but also carry a disease called squirrelpox which is often fatal to reds. Greys are carriers of the disease but are resistant to it.
Earlier this year, the Scottish Wildlife Trust was awarded a grant of £2.46 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project to enlist community volunteers.
The annual survey is now under way using feeder boxes to see where both reds and greys are across the landscape. MaryAnne Collis, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project officer for Argyll, Trossachs and Stirlingshire, said: ‘ We rely on locals and visitors to let us know what is happening so we can focus our efforts. We are very keen to know what squirrels are about and would love people to record their sightings on our website.’