Red squirrels in Scotland
Looking out for the last red squirrels
Despite their popularity, Scotland's red squirrels are one of the UK’s most threatened species. Now there are only 120,000 red squirrels left here.
Red squirrels were relatively common until the 1940s
There has been a catastrophic decline in red squirrel numbers since the grey squirrel was introduced to our shores last century. The reds have lost out on resources as well as been decimated by the squirrel poxvirus. They have also lost most of their woodland habitat to humans.
Scotland is one of their last strongholds and is home to around 75% of our remaining red squirrels. Here their populations are still relatively widely spread but face ongoing threats.
Over the last five years our grantees, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, have begun to reverse the decline in red squirrels numbers by establishing an effective grey squirrel control and surveillance network across Aberdeenshire, north of the Central Lowlands and South Scotland.
In this third phase we are now moving on from testing how to protect red squirrels to working out how we can continue this work into the future in a sustainable manner.
We will be greatly increasing our efforts in engaging and supporting local people in the practical conservation work involved in looking after their local red squirrel populations.
Together we will building a brighter future for red squirrels.