Rat Eradication Work Could Be Extended To Other Islands

Seabird Recovery Project Team

Seabird Recovery Project Team

The rat eradication work on St Agnes and Gugh, designed to protect breeding seabird populations, could be extended to other islands if residents want it.

That’s the view of Seabird Recovery Project Manager Jaclyn Pearson, who is keen to hear from islanders who want similar work carried out where they live.

Jaclyn says it’s only really feasible for St Martin’s, Tresco and Bryher at the moment. That’s because the legacy waste on St Mary’s needs to be dealt with first.

And she says all three islands would need to be cleared of rodents in one go, because they could easily swim between each one.

It needs 100% community support too, says Jaclyn, because of the measures needed to deal with household waste and to monitor for signs of infestation.

That was achieved on St Agnes, which is why the project has been so successful there. The first Manx shearwater chicks reared on that islands are a good sign of that says Jaclyn.

It could take a few years to arrange and funding would need to be found for the work, says Jaclyn, which is why she wants to hear from islanders now so the plans can be discussed.

In the meantime, she says there’s still a lot of hard work to be done on St Agnes and Gugh. They won’t get their ‘rat free’ status until November 2016.

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