Cafe Scientifique: The Return of the Red Squirrel

Monday 5th February 2024
at Waterstones, Glasgow - Sauchiehall Street

Cafe Scientifique: The Return of the Red Squirrel

The return of the red squirrel: restoring an iconic native species to the north-west Scottish Highlands

The charismatic red squirrel is threatened with extinction across the British Isles and Ireland. Habitat loss, the invasive grey squirrel and the fatal disease it spreads have seen reds reduced to only a few ‘islands’ in parts of Wales and northern England. Three-quarters of the entire UK population is found in Scotland; the Scottish highlands are the most secure stronghold but red squirrels are still absent from much of the north-west highlands. In 2016, Trees for Life began successfully reintroducing red squirrels and have restored them to much of their former range, with eleven new populations created. Sarah will discuss the threats facing the red squirrel, the reintroduction projects undertaken and challenges in the conservation of red squirrels.

Sarah Woodfin is the Red Squirrel Project Manager for Trees for Life. She has a background in small mammal conservation, with a BSc in Ecology and a MSc in Conservation. Her previous work has been with rabbits, in Scotland and Vietnam. She worked for four years with Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels before moving to Trees for Life in March 2023.

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