Welcome to the thirty-fifth 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. This photo basically represents all of our lives at the moment...... (accept Carmen and Rebecca)



We are also looking at continuing the trapping trials in a scaled down way through spring and summer so that we have year round data. We will particularly be looking at different types of baits. More details to follow in the next week or so.


We were on BBC Scotland’s Out of Doors on Saturday morning. You can listen here  (about 22 mins in) if you missed it. And we are expecting the filming that we did with BBC Landward to air tomorrow night (BBC 1, 7.30 pm).


Orkney Mainland Predator Invasion Biosecurity Project

Our contractors have now completed the May checks of the biosecurity traps and we expect to hear the results from our contractors soon.


Incursion responses

Shapinsay: Carmen and Rebecca were out on Shapinsay last Friday putting out another 12 traps, and following up on the potential sightings. There are now 24 traps out. These are still out on RSPB Scotland land and roadsides only as we try to work out who owns other good locations to place traps.

They will be out tomorrow to check all 24 traps and will continue the process of trying to identify landowners as we still want to get further traps and cameras in prime locations. 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 these permissions in place.

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

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.


Hoy: We are currently focusing on getting the Incursion Response on Shapinsay in place so the next round of trap checks on Hoy are temporarily on hold. 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.

Can you help on Hoy?

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