Welcome to the fifty-first stoat snippet!

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

Ange and Macca have been on Hoy a week but the rain has hampered their efforts to search. Not only is it unpleasant going but the rain makes finding scent more challenging. They have managed to walk a few tracks at the north end of Hoy, but there is still a lot of the island to go. They have decided to take advantage of the bad weather and give Macca a well-deserved couple of days off.


Meanwhile, Carmen and Rebecca have been reopening the trapping trial traps. They have finished Hobbister and Wideford and will start at Grimbister today. And the cameras on the Goodnature traps are now recording. They will head back next week to do the check the traps.

They have been continuing to collect in monitoring equipment from the original trapping trial and have been adding bait platforms to the traps in the field. Although this has been quite a fiddly task.

We were really pleased this week to have our first team meeting with all (four) new staff together for the first time along with the new SNH Operations Manager for the Northern Isles and Stuart West from Orkney Islands Council too as they have joined the partnership.

We are still focused on gathering land access permissions. So, if you own land in Orkney, even if it’s just your garden, and we haven’t spoken to you, please email us at ONWP.landaccess@gmail.com.

Orkney Mainland Predator Invasion Biosecurity Project

We are starting the September Biosecurity traps checks today. The whole team will be out to do this so we can maintain the traps at the same time.


Incursion responses

Shapinsay: Last Friday, Heather was on Shapinsay to check the traps and will be back again tomorrow to do the next checks.

As you know, Ange and Macca didn’t find any confirmed signs or scent of stoats, but we are leaving the traps out as a precaution until they can get back to do some additional checks following another recent sighting.


Hoy: Heather has checked the traps on South Walls and the Lyness area earlier this week and will be back out early next week to do the north of Hoy. She's spotted some nice wildlife including a caterpillar and also otter scat on a trap.

We didn’t catch any stoats in the traps but the camera cards are still being processed. So far, no stoats have been spotted on the cameras (since the probable one last year). If anyone else wants to help by volunteering to check the camera trap footage, we would love to hear from you. It is a time-consuming task but you can be treated to some really nice videos of wildlife.

Ange and Macca are currently doing searches in the north of Hoy, and then will move south.

It is incredibly important for the future of Orkney’s wildlife that land access permission is granted for Ange and Macca to check as much of the island as possible. So, a HUGE thanks to everyone who has given their support so far.


Answering your concerns…

Remember, if you have any comments or concerns please contact north@nature.scot or orkney@rspb.org.uk, or by calling RSPB Scotland on 01856 850176 or SNH on the number below.

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@nature.scot or through the ‘Stoats in Orkney’ Facebook page.

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