NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

New north east Scotland mammal atlas 'most comprehensive'

Red squirrel Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Squirrels are among the 43 mammals in the new atlas

What has been described as "the most comprehensive description ever" of land mammals in north east Scotland has been published.

Forty-three animals, including pine martens, wildcats, squirrels and even humans, have been mapped for the new book.

The Mammal Atlas of North-East Scotland and the Cairngorms features the whole of the Cairngorms National Park.

The project to create the atlas began in 2013.

The North East Scotland Biological Records Centre sought help from the public in reporting animal sightings.

Roadkill reports

Almost 1,500 people, from those who had never before submitted a mammal sighting through to experienced biological recorders, helped with the atlas.

Organisers used novel ways to encourage wildlife reporting, including asking cat owners to report what prey their pets had brought home.

Image caption Cat owners were asked to record what small mammals their pets caught and brought home

People were also encouraged to report roadkill, camera trap sightings and locations where molehills were present.

Records of scat - animal droppings - and footprints were accepted from more experienced recorders.

Scottish Natural Heritage and Aberdeenshire Council supported the creation of the atlas.

The Cairngorms National Park covers parts of Aberdeenshire, Highlands, Perthshire, Angus and Moray.

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