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News and updates

March 2017

The project funding bid has now been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their consideration and we hope to receive a verdict by June 2017.

The stoat traps in Sanday continue to be monitored and we have still found no evidence of stoats, or stoat activity, on the island. It is hoped that a final assessment of stoat presence or absence on Sanday will be made by the end of April.

February 2017

The final draft of the project funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is now almost ready to be submitted. The deadline for submission is early March, and we hope to receive confirmation regarding whether we have been successful by June 2017.

The stoat traps in position on Sanday have been monitored and no stoats, or evidence of stoats have been found. This ispositive news. We hope to make a final assessmentregarding whether stoats are present or absent from Sanday by April. Following this the traps and monitoring equipment will either be removed, or will left in place and continue to be monitored.

January 2017

The start of 2017 has been a very busy month for the Orkney Native Wildlife Project. Work continues on the finalisation of the funding bid, which is on track to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund by the start of March.

Our Technical Advisory Group, made up ofinvasive mammal experts from across the county,met at the end of January to discuss and agree the final proposed project methodology.

Over the Christmas break we received a report of a possible stoat sighting on the island of Sanday. Stoats have not previously been confirmed on Sanday so this is of concern as it may mean that the populationis no longer confined to Mainland and the connected islands. In order to confirm whether stoats are indeed present on Sanday a team was sent up to place traps and monitoring equipment in strategic points around the island. We hope to fully confirm whether stoats are present, or absent, in the coming weeks.

Summary of 2016

2016 has been a very busy year with much work being achieved.

Some key achievements include:

  • The appointment of an independent contractor to pull together an ambitious bid for external funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the removal of stoats from Orkney to safeguard native wildlife. This work is now largely complete and the bid will be submitted in March 2017.
  • The formation of a Project Partnership with RSPB. The press release announcing this can be found on our press page external site .
  • Increased stakeholder engagement, including meetings with relevant stakeholder organisations as well as members of the Orkney public.
  • Continued media presence through articles in our 'Nature of Scotland' magazine (which can be read at this link), Orkney Farmer and the Orcadian, as well as via social media and Radio Orkney.

An open stakeholder meeting was held in Kirkwall on the 13th December, to which we invited various relevant stakeholder groups as well as members of the public. It was a well-attended and productive meeting. The notes from the meeting can be viewed at the following link  PDF document .

Stoat sightings, kindly reported by members of the public, are on the increase with over 700 sightings reported in 2016 (compared to 500 in 2015). This is concerning but not surprising given that the stoat population has been increasing since the first stoat was spotted back in 2010.

The volunteer stoat trapping project has continued throughout 2016 after being rejuvenated in late 2015. Although success in terms of the number of stoats trapped has been low, the project provides trapping data which has helped to inform the proposed trapping methodology of the wider eradication project. A report summarising the findings of the project so far was produced in October 2016 and can be read at this link  PDF document .

Last updated on Monday 10th April 2017 at 14:39 PM. Click here to comment on this page