The Great Scottish Squirrel Survey returns for its fifth year this autumn. Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels is calling on people all over Scotland to explore outdoors and look out for tufted ears and bushy tails between 2-8 October 2023 (National Red Squirrel Week).
Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (SSRS) is a partnership project led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, which is working in priority areas across Scotland to protect red squirrels from the spread of the invasive non-native grey squirrel.
SSRS monitors squirrel populations all year round; but autumn remains a particularly rewarding time of year for squirrel-spotting. Squirrels are often more visible as they busily forage the autumn harvest in preparation for the winter ahead.
Anyone can take part in the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey by reporting sightings of both red and grey squirrels throughout the week. Each sighting creates a snapshot of the situation, helping the project understand how populations are changing over time and to decide where to focus its conservation efforts.
Grey squirrels were introduced to Scotland in Victorian times and have since replaced our native red squirrel in many parts of the country. They out-compete reds for food and living space and can also carry squirrelpox, a virus that doesn’t harm them but is fatal to reds.
The Great Scottish Squirrel Survey week will feature a programme of events across the country as well as self-guided opportunities. More information can be found at scottishsquirrels.org.uk/great-scottish-squirrel-survey.
To find out more and record your squirrel sightings, visit scottishsquirrels.org.uk