Welcome to the fourtieth stoat snippet! Wow - how time flies!

These snippets are a short update on 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

Work continues to ensure we are prepared to start the full project if we get the go ahead. This primarily means trying to identify landowners and get land access permissions organised.

Amy has been in South Walls and Hoy again this week meeting landowners and was on Rousay last Friday starting to meet folk. The weather has been great and the heather is starting to flower making for some nice photo opportunities.

A huge thank you to everyone who has been supportive so far and especially to everyone who has helped us identify who owns what.

If you own land on Hoy, Rousay, Flotta or Wyre, please get in touch, by phone or email.

Rebecca and Carmen have checked the traps that have been reopened as part of the extended trapping trial. Two stoats were caught again this week. We are starting to bring in the remaining traps that aren’t part of the extended trial too. Thanks again to all the landowners who have helped with the trials.

We now have a start date for the new SNH Graduate Placement of mid-July and will introduce her to you when she starts. She will be assisting with all aspects of the project including landowner access, community events and some of the trapping.

We also had some good candidates for the SNH trapper vacancy and interviews will take place in mid-July so more news on that next month. The trapper will mainly be helping with the incursion responses.


Orkney Mainland Predator Invasion Biosecurity Project

The trap checks were done when our contractor was in Orkney last week, so we will have an update shortly.


Incursion responses

Shapinsay: Carmen and Rebecca have checked the Shapinsay traps as well as putting out more traps and cameras this week. We have caught no stoats and have no evidence of any from the cameras so far. Thanks to everyone who has helped with this.

Hoy: Volunteers are still finishing looking at the images from the camera traps. But so far we’ve had no evidence of stoats and no stoats have been caught in the traps either.

Please remember, if you think you’ve seen a stoat on Hoy or South Walls please report it immediately by phone or email. 

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.

Amy has been meeting landowners to get access permissions for the next stage in the incursion response which will involve using other methods to seek out signs of stoats. She has nearly finished South Walls and has started in Hoy, so a big thanks to everyone who has given their support so far. If you own land in South Walls and Hoy, even if it is just your garden, please get in touch.


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