Welcome to the thirtieth stoat snippet!

These snippets are a short update on progress with both the Orkney Native Wildlife Project and the Orkney Mainland Predator Invasion Biosecurity Project, as well as addressing any concerns that folk have raised with SNH and RSPB Scotland.

If you are new to these snippets and want to know more about the project, check out this blog.


Orkney Native Wildlife Project

We were out filming with Landward on Tuesday, talking about why Orkney is so important for wildlife, why stoats are a problem and how we are working together to do something about it. We’d like to thank Buxa Farm Chalets & Croft House for hosting some of the filming. It should air later this spring.

This week we have published the results from our community consultation and our questionnaire. Over the last few months we have spoken to teachers, community groups, landowners and individuals from across Orkney and we are delighted at the response we have had.

Almost 900 people completed the questionnaire which is about 4% of the population. Nearly 92% believe we have a duty to protect Orkney’s native wildlife, 88% are worried about declines in Orkney’s native wildlife if stoats are not removed and 84% think it is important to eradicate stoats from Orkney. A big thank you to everyone that completed our questionnaire or spoke to us about the project. You can read more about the consultation results here or in the previous post.

We are now incorporating all of the feedback in our funding bids for the project and are looking forward to working with the community to safeguard Orkney’s internationally important wildlife.


Orkney Mainland Predator Invasion Biosecurity Project

While we were out filming with Landward we happened to check a couple of the biosecurity traps and one had caught a stoat. We will continue with Biosecurity trapping until the main eradication programme starts.


Incursion responses

Hoy: Work is continuing to try and determine whether there is one or many stoats present. The traps and cameras have been checked again this week and there is still no evidence of stoats on camera or traps. Although, as always, we captured some of Hoy’s other residents including a curious woodcock and a redwing and this passing ring ouzel (below).

Alex, our trapper on Hoy is leaving to start a new job monitoring terns on Anglesey. We want to thank him for all his hard work and wish him the best of luck in the future.

However, we are also investigating a reported sighting. We really need people to be vigilant and to please remember, if you think you’ve seen a stoat on Hoy or South Walls please report it immediately by phone or email.


And we need more help!

We are currently looking for people from Hoy, or anyone who can access Hoy easily, to volunteer to be part of a local team skilled in finding stoat sightings! Suitable volunteers will be trained to use our thermal imaging camera and in other techniques. Do get in touch if you are interested.


Answering your concerns…

Remember, if you have any comments or concerns please contact north@snh.gov.uk or orkney@rspb.org.uk.

Once again, don't forget to keep reporting any sightings of stoats, as soon as possible, to SNH by calling 01856 886163, by emailing north@snh.gov.uk or through the ‘Stoats in Orkney’ Facebook page.

And to keep up-to-date with the project, please follow our Facebook page