Welcome to the thirty-fourth 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 Scottish Natural Heritage (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 are continuing to write the HLF funding bid for submission in June.


Orkney Mainland Predator Invasion Biosecurity Project

Our contractors are up in Orkney to do the May checks and these should be complete by Sunday.


Incursion responses

New staff: Our two new staff, Rebecca and Carmen, started on Monday. There first task is to increase the Incursion Response on Shapinsay.


Shapinsay: Following last week’s report of a stoat, our new staff will be out on Shapinsay tomorrow checking the 12 traps that went out last week and putting out another 10 along with some cameras. They will also be following up on the sightings reports we received.

We are taking these sightings extremely seriously and really need people to be as vigilant as possible and as quick as possible at reporting any potential sightings. Stoats are more active at this time of year, so please keep an eye out when out and about.

We hope to get further traps and cameras out in the next week or so, so when Rebecca and Carmen are over on Shapinsay they will be identifying areas that look good for these to be placed so that we can contact landowners in those areas. If you own land on Shapinsay, we would really appreciate it if you could get in touch via orkney@rspb.org.uk to help us speed up how quickly we can get permissions in place.

In fact if you own land on Hoy, Rousay, Flotta, Graemsay and Wyre we would like to hear from you too.


Hoy: Work is continuing to try to determine whether there is one or many stoats present. Due to needing to quickly mobilise a response on Shapinsay, we have had to delay the next round of trap checks. However, because since the first (and only) probable stoat sighting on a camera, no stoats have been trapped and we found no further evidence of them on our trail cameras either, we are planning to move to the next stage in the incursion response using other methods to seek out signs of stoats.

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