Welcome to the sixty-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 and this one too.

Orkney Native Wildlife Project

We are currently advertising posts for our project team. There’s only 3 days left until the closing date for the first set of posts on 26th November. More information about the posts can be found in the links below:

Programme Manager 

Administrator 

Eradication Operations Manager (2 posts) 

Biosecurity Officer 

Communications Manager

We are also advertising 13 other posts. There are the Trapping Team (10 posts), Community Engagement OfficerEducation Officer and Monitoring Officer who will look after the citizen science and research parts of the project. The closing date for these roles is 10th of December.

We have also been busy this week starting the process of ordering and writing the tender documents for the project’s eradication equipment; and preparing for two public talks next week. Please do come along to hear an update on the project development work undertaken to date and an overview of what will be delivered through the project:

Tuesday 27th November, 3pm @ the St Magnus Centre as part of Orkney Tourism Week. Book you place here.

AND

Friday 30th November, 11.30am @ the St Magnus Centre as part of the Orkney Local Access Forum Conference. Book your place here.

We are still looking for landowners to get in touch to allow us land access for trap placement for the eradication. 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 as soon as you can.

 

Trapping Trial

Rebecca gave a talk at the RSPB Local Group AGM last Thursday about the preliminary results of the trapping trial which was well received by all.

Data from the trapping trial will now be analysed and written up into a report.

This week Rebecca also continued the job of bringing in the trapping trial traps from the field so that they can be redeployed elsewhere (likely Rousay and Flotta are part of the ongoing biosecurity recommendations from Angela Newport).

Biosecurity trap network

We aim to check the Mainland traps every 2 weeks. Last week Marina covered the Kirkwall traps with a couple of members of staff from OIC to help train them up so they can help in future and Lindsey checked the traps at Rendall. Carmen was also at Evie and removed one stoat from the traps.

This week Rebecca covered Orphir and also caught one stoat; and Carmen completed Evie and got an unusually large number of rats in the traps. Despite this, Carmen enjoyed an encounter with a grey wagtail and marvelled at a large flock of curlew on the shore. She also enjoyed meeting some local residents and wants to thank them for their kind words of support.

The plans for the rest of this week include a trip to Shapinsay by Heather to check the traps there – and to Stromness by Lindsey.

Incursion responses

North Hoy: Heather, Rebecca and Carmen are out in North Hoy today re-arranging the trap positions to create a more robust incursion response network as per Angela Newport and Macca’s recommendations.

Our hard-working volunteers have been busy checking the trail cameras from Hoy – thanks again to them! No stoats were captured on camera but we did see rabbits, rats, a wren, a hedgehog and a very inquisitive sheep (see video on the Facebook post).

South Walls: These traps are not due to be checked for another week.

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.

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