Squirrel Conservation Zone
Though the most commonly seen squirrel in Britain is the grey squirrel, our native species is actually the more illusive, red squirrel.
The grey squirrel was introduced from America around 130 years ago and has since flourished here in the UK continually expanding its range.
The red squirrel's future is increasingly uncertain due to loss of habitat, the spread of disease, road traffic and the sheer number of grey squirrels. The greys can feed more efficiently in broad leaved woodlands than the reds and can survive in higher density populations.
Here at the sanctuary we are working to safeguard the population of our native red squirrels and prevent them from being extinct.
There are red squirrels in the sanctuary's forest so you might be lucky enough to see them running around up in the trees or even foraging for food on the forest floor.
To help our native squirrels we have:
- Built feeding stations which will give them extra food to aid them in gaining weight ready for the winter
- Built nest boxes which will give them warm places to shelter
- Installed sampling patches in the nest boxes to gather data on the usage of the nest boxes
- Planting trees to increase the natural availability of forageable food
- Collating sightings data on both the red and grey squirrel to help us identify the distribution of both the red and grey squirrels across Scotland. This data will then be used by local biological record centres and the national database of squirrel records not only to identify areas of importance where habitat management or grey squirrel control will benefit red squirrel populations, but also to understand natural changes in their populations.
- You could help us by donating money which will go to building more squirrel nests, more squirrel feeding stations and will go some way to paying for the food, bedding material and sampling materials we use.
- You can also let us know of any sightings at the Scottish SEA LIFE Sanctuary at the sanctuary or go to the Scottish Wildlife Trust website and fill in a sighting form online.
- Why not ask us for instructions on how to make your own squirrel boxes?!