Red squirrels are starting to make a much anticipated comeback in parts of Aberdeen after decades of absence.
And residents are now being urged to report sightings of the creatures to help build up a picture of their new habitats.
Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels project (SSRS) wants to list any new sites that it has not yet recorded.
Their north-east project officer, Steve Willis, said they had received reports of red squirrels in the Bridge of Don, at Kincorth Hill, Craigiebuckler and North Anderson Drive.
“In order to build up an accurate picture of where red squirrels can be found across Aberdeen and how that population is shifting, we really need the public to be our eyes and ears and report their sightings,” he said.
“If you are out walking in the woods or just sitting in the garden, keep an eye out for squirrels. It only takes a moment to record your sighting on our website, and every record is incredibly useful.”
The red squirrel is the UK’s only native squirrel and numbers have declined rapidly since the introduction of grey squirrels from North America in the 19th Century.
Since 1952, 95% of red squirrels in England and Wales have been wiped out – and 75% of the UK’s remaining population is currently found in Scotland.
They have become increasingly common in Aberdeen’s West End thanks to an intensive trapping programme to remove grey squirrels from parks and gardens.
Sightings of red and grey squirrels can be made by visiting the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels website at www.scottishsquirrels.org.uk