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Rodents are threatening seabird colony - with 1.5m bill to solve problem

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Rodents are threatening seabird colony - with 1.5m bill to solve problem thumbnailPlans to wipe out rats and ferrets from Rathlin Island could cost more than 1.5m, the Chronicle can reveal this week

PLANS to wipe out rats and ferrets from Rathlin Island could cost more than 1.5m, the Chronicle can reveal this week.
The idea of eradicating the rodents was first proposed by the RSPB in response to rising concerns about their impact on the island's world famous seabird colony.
The charity commissioned a report in 2011 which included details on methods of extermination, local engagement plus environmental and ethical concerns surrounding the project.
The report was shelved, but earlier this year an update was published, at the request of Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust.
Included is a survey of every Rathlin household, indicating overwhelming support and revisions of methods and costs. It's thought rats have been breeding on the island since the 1500s. Like many of the UK's offshore islands their numbers have grown steadily in the absence of natural predators.

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