Welcome to the thirty-seven 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 virtually to submit the funding bid to HLF. All going well it should go in next week.

Carmen and Rebecca, who we introduced in Snippet 34, have started checking some of the reopened traps and are opening the final traps in Grimbister today which should be all the traps we are using for the extended trapping trial reopened. We have caught one stoat so far with the egg bait and will update you with more news as the trial continues.

We’d like to once again thank all the landowners that have helped with the trials.


Orkney Mainland Predator Invasion Biosecurity Project

The next checks of these traps are due later this month.


Incursion responses

Shapinsay: All the traps (24) were checked last Friday. No stoats were caught just two rats. We have had a further report of a possible stoat sighting in a second location and are aiming to increase the number of traps in that area.

We take all 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 are still trying to work out who owns other land on Shapinsay, and Carmen and Rebecca will be going door-to-door soon, so that we can get further cameras and traps out in prime locations soon.

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.

A big thanks to folk on Graemsay for helping us identify landowners and start to get permission in place for land access. And for their ongoing support for the project. A member of staff will be out on Hoy and Rousay in the next few weeks looking to meet landowners there.

Hoy: We are planning to do a full check of all traps and cameras next week and will also be looking to meet landowners to get permission for the next stage in the incursion response which will involve using other methods to seek out signs of stoats. This is because, despite having some cameras out since September and traps since early December, we have only had the one probable stoat sighting on a camera in November and have caught no stoats in the traps.

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