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Rat Watch

27 August 2014

You will probably be aware that St Kilda is rat free and we are vigilant in keeping it that way. Each time a landing craft arrives it creates a breach in our biosecurity defences.

Rat watch

All other boats have to moor or anchor in the Bay and transfer their passengers to shore by dinghy. Immediately before the landing craft arrives I have to set and bait humane traps around the Village with waxy chocolate. If I catch a rat it has to be humanely dispatched and kill traps put out before specialist pest control contractors arrive. Obviously whatever kills rats will also kill our St Kilda Field Mice and there has to be a trade off between bird and mouse protection. Rats would decimate our ground nesting Puffins and other birds breeding at St Kilda.

This morning while checking traps after yesterday's landing craft visit I found a trapped and very much alive young St Kilda Fieldmouse reflecting on the dubious benefit of last night's gluttony.

Mouse Trapped

Mouse Trapped

After interrogation I was happy this rodent was not an 'illegal immigrant' and he or she was detained no further, Lucky for the mouse that our first line of defence consists of humane traps!





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