Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Perthshire residents urged to be on red alert for grey squirrels

A red squirrel in Perthshire
A red squirrel in Perthshire

Perthshire nature lovers have been put on high alert after the surprise sighting of two grey squirrels in Aberfeldy.

The news has sparked fears for the area’s protected red squirrel population.

The grey variety is known to live in the Dunkeld and Birnam area, and in lesser numbers around Dalguise. The sighting of two greys in Aberfeldy suggests the species could be expanding northwards, posing a threat to their native cousins.

The larger and more robust grey squirrels compete more successfully for food and habitat than reds, making it more difficult for them to survive.

Residents in Aberfeldy, Dunkeld and Pitlochry are now being urged to report any sightings of greys as part of the National Lottery funded Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) project, led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Tayside conservation officer Ann-Marie MacMaster warned: “We have received large numbers of reports of both species of squirrel this spring and summer, suggesting that both species have benefited from a bumper seed crop of autumn 2019, followed by a very mild winter.

“This boost could mean that grey squirrels are at an advantage and have dispersed further than they would have in a more typical year.”

She said: “We need to get a full picture of what is happening on the ground, and the only way to do this is by asking the public to help by reporting sightings of any grey squirrels seen north of Dunkeld.”

In Tayside, the project has focused on what is known as the Highland line, a 10km-wide strip running from Montrose, through Kirriemuir, Dunkeld, Crieff and out to the west of Scotland.

The SSRS initiative aims to prevent grey squirrels from becoming established north of this line, in order to secure the long-term survival of reds in the Highlands and Grampian.

In recent years, greys have largely been confined to inside the Highland Line thanks to the efforts of local estates and residents who have hosted traps in their gardens.

Ms MacMaster said: “Without help from the local community and targeted action, grey squirrels could become established in Aberfeldy, Pitlochry and beyond.

“This would undo the hard-won successes achieved in the last 10 years.”

Sighting can be recorded at scottishsquirrels.org.uk

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]