Monday, February 4, 2008

No Rats Please We're Scottish

Not into celebrating the Chinese year of the rat much is the National Trust for Scotland due to poor breeding seasons they would rather see the year of the Gannet.

The trawler which ran aground on St Kilda could threaten the rare sea birds on the World Heritage Site.

Force 11 gales have dispersed fuel from the vessel's tanks but the National Trust for Scotland fears it is any rats on board that could cause most damage.

The trust, which has owned the islands since 1957, said it would be a "huge problem" if rats got ashore a rat colonisation would destroy the archipelago's sea bird population.

St Kilda, which is currently completely rat-free, is home to one of the biggest populations of gannets in the world, one of the biggest colonies of puffins in the UK and about 90% of Europe's Leach's storm petrels.

All of those birds nest on the ground or in burrows and if one pregnant female rat got onto the archipelago her offspring would soon decimate next season's eggs and chicks.

Anti-rat contingency plans have been implemented, which involve laying traps at the points that are most at risk.


bittersweet me said...

Apparently they are laying down chocolate flavour wax to test for rat activity. Lucky rats.

Roland Rat said...

Those birds are history.