Welcome to the sixty-ninth 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.

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

The four seasonal research jobs – one senior research assistant and three research assistants – that will be doing the wildlife monitoring for waders and voles this spring and summer are still open to applications. The closing is 11 Feb and interviews on 21 and 22 February.

Our new project administrator, Sarah Kelly, started on Monday. Sarah has been working in the RSPB Office in Newcastle as a venue booker for events for colleagues to attend.

Amy is still splitting her time between identifying the best locations for surveys and securing land access permission, particularly focussing on areas where wildlife surveys are needed this spring. If you are happy for this important wildlife monitoring to place on your land, please email ONWP.landaccess@gmail.com as soon as you can.

In the meantime, the biosecurity and incursion trap checks continue, as does the other preparation work for the eradication.


Trapping Trial

We hope that all the landowners that were involved in just the winter part of the trapping trial will have now received letters from us. We want to thank all the landowners that took part in the trials again. Please do send the feedback forms that were included in your letters back to us. We are also happy to receive feedback at any time so we know where we can make improvements.


Biosecurity trap network

Mainland: Lindsey checked the Stromness traps on Saturday and some of the Evie traps on Sunday, while Carmen had to postpone Orphir because the weather was so bad today and hopes to go on Sunday.

High-risk islands: Heather did the latest rounds of checks on Shapinsay on Wednesday. The traps had caught no stoats but did catch 14 rats.

The trap network on Rousay is still not in place, but will be put out as soon as weather and more pressing demands allow.  


Incursion responses

Hoy: We managed to check some of the traps in Hoy yesterday along with the traps on South Walls.

South Walls: All the traps on South Walls were also checked yesterday. Eight rats were caught in the traps but no stoats. The team also secured land access permissions for two more areas from some lovely people who were very supportive of the project which made the team happy. Heather also managed to meet one of the volunteers who is checking the camera trap footage.

Lots of fulmars and tysties were back in summer plumage and Carmen managed to get some nice pictures of the sea on the way back




Answering your concerns…

Remember, if you have any comments or concerns please contact north@nature.scot or orkney@rspb.org.uk, or call 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 01463 701670, 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.