Bid to increase west Scotland's red squirrel numbers

Red squirrel
Trees for Life said there were an estimated 120,000 red squirrels in Scotland [Getty Images]

Six red squirrels have been released in Scotland's Morvern peninsula as part of efforts to boost the species' west coast population.

Rewilding charity Trees for Life worked with landowners on the reintroduction project at Drimnin Estate.

The squirrels were released into broadleaf woodland, and follow the release of 21 near Lochaline on the peninsula two years ago.

Trees for Life said there were an estimated 120,000 red squirrels in Scotland, with habitat loss being one of the biggest threats to their survival.

Red squirrel
A red squirrel peeks out from a nest box at Drimnin Estate [Trees for Life]

Sarah Woodfin, the charity's red squirrel project manager, said it was hoped Drimnin's new squirrels would help numbers to recover.

She said: “As long as tree cover continues to improve in the area, eventually these reintroduced reds should be able to move right around the coast all the way to neighbouring Ardnamurchan – helping secure a remnant population of red squirrels that has managed to hold on there.”

Rhonda Newsham, of Drimnin Estate, said the six squirrels had been released into a remote location and it was hoped the peninsula's reds would flourish.

Red squirrel
A red squirrel at Drimnin [Trees for Life]

More on this story