Work to re­move hedge­hogs con­tin­ues

The Oban Times - - News -

SCOT­TISH Nat­u­ral Her­itage (SNH) says its plans to re­move hedge­hogs from the Western Isles are ‘on-go­ing’.

The Uist wader re­search project was started in 2000 in re­sponse to de­clin­ing num­bers of the in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned birds in north Uist be­cause of hedge­hogs which feed on the bird’s eggs.

To date more than £2,679,000 mil­lion has been in­vested in the pro­gramme with 2,441 hedge­hogs re­moved. In 2011, the project started a new four-year re­search pro­gramme into the is­lands’ breed­ing wader pop­u­la­tions. SNH has de­vel­oped the tech­niques re­quired to cap­ture hedge­hogs and is now in­ves­ti­gat­ing sources of fund­ing for a large scale re­moval project.

Hedge­hogs are non-na­tive and are be­lieved to have been in­tro­duced to the is­lands in the 1970s.

A spokesper­son for SNH said: ‘Our rig­or­ous work on de­vel­op­ing a re­moval plan for hedge­hogs in the Western Isles is on­go­ing. We are at an ex­tremely early stage in de­vel­op­ing fur­ther pro­pos­als to tackle the is­sue of the hedge­hogs.’

David Ma­clen­nan, SNH’s unit man­ager for Ar­gyll and the Outer He­brides, said: ‘Our work has suc­cess­fully re­moved al­most all in­tro­duced hedge­hogs from North Uist. The key chal­lenge for us now is to se­cure fund­ing to de­liver a large scale project to re­move all the hedge­hogs from the Uists and en­able re­cov­ery of the in­ter­na­tion­ally im­por­tant wader pop­u­la­tions. Work in this re­gard is on­go­ing.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.