The successful eradication of rats on Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, means that a similar project will be undertaken on two of the isles of Scilly, St Agnes and Gugh. Survey teams from the RSPB have found that some species of birds have increased ten-fold in the past decade, after the rats were poisoned with bait. Manx shearwaters have increased from 300 to 3,000, and puffins from just five birds to 80. Other species to benefit were razorbills and shags. Helen Booker, RSPB senior conservation officer in the south-west of England said: “This is such an exciting result, better than we expected, and the rate of increase is an indication of just how important rat-free islands such as Lundy are as a breeding site for seabirds.”
The rest of this article appears in the 7th August issue of Shooting Times.
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