A Mearns community is at the forefront of efforts to protect red squirrels.
The Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project is urging people to be on the lookout as recent grey squirrel sightings have been reported in important areas for conserving reds.
Greys have been the cause of the decline in numbers of the red species. Project officials have received reports of recent grey squirrel activity around St Cyrus and Ellon.
Dr Gwen Maggs, project conservation officer for North East Scotland said: “This is the first time grey squirrels have been reported in the Ellon area for a number of years, and there have also been two sightings of grey squirrels in the St Cyrus area in recent days.
“St Cyrus, and the Mearns area as a whole, sits in a crucial gap between the grey squirrel population south of the Highland Line and the isolated pocket of grey squirrels in Aberdeen. “Squirrelpox is not currently a threat in Aberdeenshire, however this could change if the gap between the two grey squirrel populations closes and they become able to breed.”
““However, this is not the first time greys have been seen in these areas, and there is no cause to panic.”