‘Considerable Challenge’ To Keep Islands Free Of Rats

Seabird Recovery Project Team

Seabird Recovery Project Team

Keeping St Agnes and Gugh free of rats is going to present a “considerable challenge,” says island councillor, Richard McCarthy. They’re asking the public to be vigilant and report any sightings.

The Seabird Recovery Project is trying to encourage breeding of storm petrel and Manx shearwater by removing rodents from their nesting areas.

They say there have been no signs of rats on the two islands for 20 weeks.

New Zealand-based specialists Wildlife Management International carried out the key rat removal phase of the project from November to March and were joined by more than 20 Seabird Task Force Volunteers during the five-month period.

All 85 islanders assisted the operation. The project has provided residents with secure compost and wheelie bins to ensure good waste management.

Tim Hicks of Troytown Farm says locals are going to remain vigilant for rat signs and he’s encouraging all visitors to do the same.

If you see one you’re asked to ‘Rat on a Rat’ by calling 422153. The project team and islanders will then inspect the area and set up surveillance and response measures.

They’ll also reinstall a 50m baiting grid in the immediate area.

Project Manager Jaclyn Pearson said the colonies of seabirds are about to return and already they have a brighter future.

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