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Pine marten sightings give hope

By Donald Turvill
Pine marten sightings give hope

MOFFAT and District Red Squirrel Group (MDRSG) have reported new sightings of pine martens in the local area.

Members of the cohort — which is part of the country-wide network, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels — were trained recently to survey small mammals through identifying their droppings.

By keeping an open eye when out on walks, and through sightings reported by the public, they’re able to map the wildlife of the community and monitor the local population of the threatened reds.

A statement released by MDRSG last week said: “As part of ongoing monitoring and control of grey squirrels in and around Moffat and Beattock, we have recently seen two pine martens. These are predators of squirrels, greys in particular and their presence is wonderful news.”

The group hopes to see the threatened red squirrels — which they’ve now spotted six of in 2021 — given better chances of survival as the common grey, carrying the deadly parapox virus, is threatened by the emerging mustelids.

Keep track of news and sightings from the group by joining ‘Moffat And District Red Squirrel Group’ on Facebook. Alternatively, visit and search for Moffat.

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ALMOST 70 per cent of the region’s adult population have received their first Covid-19 vaccination.