Winner Of Rat Eradication Contract Announced



The New Zealand family firm that carried out a feasibility study two years ago into rat removal on Scilly has won the contract to eradicate the rodents from St Agnes and Gugh.

Wildlife Management International Ltd has more than 20 years experience including projects on Lundy and in Scotland, on the Isle of Canna.

Elizabeth Bell and key members of her team, most of whom are UK-based, are due to be on Scilly in June for assessment work. Rat removal is expected to begin in November.

Scilly is the only place in England where storm petrel breed. The aim is to safeguard and hopefully boost local populations of birds, as well as Manx shearwater.

The £900,000 project to eliminate the brown rat population on Agnes and Gugh for at least a quarter of a century, is being largely funded by the EU’s LIFE programme, which finances key environmental schemes across the continent ,and the National Lottery. Some money is also coming from the AONB and the Isles of Scilly Bird Group.

Wildlife Management International will be working alongside project manager Jaclyn Pearson and Bob Dawson, who has been appointed the scheme’s part time community engagement officer.

Bob, like Jaclyn, has worked previously for both the RSPB and the Wildlife Trust. Most recently he completed a report on land-based birds on the islands.

St Agnes residents received an update on the scheme on Good Friday.

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