Charity is seeking 5,000 volunteers
Charity is seeking 5,000 volunteers to help save the red squirrel
AN “army” of 5,000 volunteers is being sought by wildlife experts to help save the UK’s last remaining red squirrels.
The volunteers will work as part of community-based teams, gathering information about squirrel populations.
Experts believe that, without help, the red squirrel could be extinct within 35 years, In most of the UK there are only a handful of refuges left for red squirrels;
With the first 2017 surveys of the endangered mammal due to start in March, the Wildlife Trusts charity say their new approach to the conservation of the squirrels puts volunteers at the “forefront” of efforts to halt their decline.
Dr Cathleen Thomas – Red Squirrels United
The volunteers will be tasked with speedily reporting any grey squirrels moving into areas which are currently strongholds for red squirrels.
The larger, non-native greys are a major reason for the reds’ decline.
Volunteers will also work with partner organisations in their local area, logging squirrel sightings, monitoring feeders, setting up cameras to film reds’ behaviour, controlling grey squirrel populations in certain areas, and teaching people about red squirrels.
Data about sightings will contribute to the work of Red Squirrels United – a UK-wide network of academics and conservationists set up to protect the reds – and to the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project.
Red Squirrels United programme manager Dr Cathleen Thomas said: “In most of the UK there are only a handful of refuges left for red squirrels; without help, experts predict this beautiful and treasured creature could be extinct within as little as 35 years.Data about sightings will contribute to the work of Red Squirrels United – a UK-wide network of academics and conservationists set up to protect the reds – and to the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project.
“Volunteers are playing a crucial role enabling red squirrels to thrive.
”Scotland is home to around 120,000 red squirrels, three-quarters of the UK population.
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