Red squirrels are at risk of extinction in the UK – but Trees for Life’s pioneering Reds Return project offers hope for their long-term survival in their last real stronghold of Scotland. Numbers of these much-loved mammals have been decimated by reduction of their forest homes to isolated fragments, and by competition and lethal disease from non-native grey squirrels.
Reintroducing reds to four carefully chosen Highland woodlands – to which they can’t return without help, as they avoid crossing large open spaces – will significantly expand their numbers and range. These new populations will be able to flourish, safe from grey squirrels.
This iconic species of Scotland’s majestic pinewoods can be saved – Trees for Life has already reintroduced red squirrels to a small number of locations, where they have been successfully breeding and spreading into wider areas. The project will also help expand Scotland’s native woodlands, as red squirrels plant new trees by forgetting where they have buried their winter stores of nuts and seeds.
Positive community involvement will inspire people to care for the reintroduced red squirrels through school activities, community events, and citizen science opportunities.
Learn more about the red squirrel reintroduction project:
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