Welcome to the seventy-fourth stoat snippet!

These snippets are a short update on the Orkney Native Wildlife 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

There were no new starts this week, but the Senior Research Assistant, Thomas, and the three Research Assistants – Alexandra, Katherine and Sarah B – all start on 25th and 27th of March. These roles will be doing the wildlife monitoring for waders, voles, meadow pipits and skylarks this spring and summer.

To get ready for this important wildlife monitoring and for the eradication trapping later this year, we have been searching through public records to try to identify landowners. We now have a few hundred on a list and so will start to make calls to those who we have numbers for. To make our lives a bit easier and to speed the process up, we would really appreciate folk who own land and are happy for wildlife monitoring and or trapping to take place getting in touch. Please email ONWP.landaccess@gmail.com or call 01856 850176 as soon as you can.

 

We have started receiving drawings from local schools to help inspire our logo. Here are a couple of the first ones.

  

 

We are still looking for help from local schools and youth groups to inspire the design of our new logo by creating drawings of some of our native wildlife such as hen harriers and the Orkney vole. For more details check out this snippet.

 

We can now announce the successful bid for the supply of six conservation detection dogs for the project was from a company called Kryus Ltd. You can read about one of the other projects they have helped recently here and more about the crucial role these dogs will play in the project in this previous snippet.

 

Kit continues to arrive too including 40 new camera traps. The trapping team had a session familiarising themselves with the maps of Orkney and new GPSs in the hail the other day and the biosecurity and incursion trap checks are also continuing.

 

Trapping Trial 

We hope to have the final trapping trial report finished soon and will continue to bring in monitoring tubes whenever get a chance.

  

Biosecurity trap network

Mainland: Checks of the traps in Evie and Rendall happened Friday before last. One stoat was caught in Rendall along with a couple of rats. The traps in Orphir, Kirkwall and Stromness were checked last week with two stoats caught – one in Orphir and one in Stromness.

High-risk islands: The Graemsay traps are not due to be checked for a few weeks, but Marina and Heather were checking traps in Shapinsay yesterday. Marina’s traps had caught four rats. It was a beautiful day of showers and sunshine with lots of lapwings calls and many seals lying on the shore as they walked back to the ferry.

A local farmer introduced Marina to some newborn lambs that were just a few days old too and she managed to take these photos of them on her phone.

      

The biosecurity trap network on Rousay will be put out soon.  

 

Incursion responses

Hoy: The traps in Hoy and South Walls were all checked recently. We’ve still not caught any stoats in Hoy or South Walls, despite suspicions one or more are present so it’s crucial that folk remain vigilant and report any potential stoat sightings immediately.

South Walls: See above.

 

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.

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