Following last month’s suspension of all SSRS outdoor volunteer work in light of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the decision has been made to cancel the project’s annual survey which takes place in Spring.
After careful consideration, it has been decided that the 2020 annual Spring Survey will not continue after lockdown restrictions are lifted.
For the health and safety of volunteers, we ask all SSRS Spring Survey participants to continue following government guidelines and refrain from traveling to feeder boxes while restrictions are in place.
What should I do with my Spring Survey kit?
- Stickies: those collected prior to the survey suspension may still prove useful for smaller scale localised insights. For collected stickies, please complete the data sheet up to the date of survey suspension to reflect this. Both used and unused stickies can be sent to SSRS in the return envelope that was included in your survey pack – but please wait until restrictions are lifted as your samples may be lost while some postal services are suspended.
- Bait: if possible please store bait in a sealed container in a cool, dry place until restrictions are lifted. If you are unable to store bait you are welcome to use it in your garden. Please be advised that we recommend cleaning garden feeders regularly for the health of all garden wildlife and to prevent the spread of squirrelpox.
- Additional equipment (e.g. camera traps): equipment and stickies left in the field at feeder box locations should be left until restrictions are lifted. Unused equipment should also be stored away at this time.
Further advice will be issued when lockdown restrictions are lifted. If you have any questions or concerns you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via your local Community Engagement Officer or Conservation Officer.
You can continue to contribute to the project by reporting sightings from your window, garden or while taking daily exercise
With the loss of this year’s spring survey data, reporting sightings of both red and grey squirrels is now more important than ever. The only way to monitor squirrel populations at this time is for people to let us know if they have seen a squirrel locally, either in their garden or on their daily exercise. During this time, looking for squirrels and reporting sightings can also be a great way to continue engaging with nature.
All sightings can be reported through our website at https://scottishsquirrels.org.uk/squirrel-sightings/.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this year’s survey for their hard work and dedication to the protection of red squirrels across Scotland.