Rats on the Saltee Islands

On 13 May 2020, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (DCHG) invited tenders to manage a project to eradicate Brown Rats from Saltee Island Great. Titled ‘the Great Saltee Rat Eradication Project’, tenders were invited to undertake the required preparatory phases up to and including (subject to client approval) the operational planning and to carry out the implementation phases of the project.

Rats are known to have very detrimental effects on seabird populations through predation and competition for food and habitat, causing local and global extinction of birds on islands throughout the world. Recent work on seabird islands in the UK where rats have been eradicated show pronounced increases in breeding Puffin and Manx Shearwater numbers e.g. Lundy (https://www.conservationevidence.com/individual-study/2241).

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, together with input from University College Cork (UCC) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in Britain, and with the support of the island’s owner, has undertaken preliminary steps through the collection of evidence (e.g. surveys of Puffin, Manx Shearwater and Brown Rat by UCC), the trailing of vegetation clearance and other logistics including the drafting of a bait station grid. NPWS is now in a position to progress the plan to eradicate Saltee Island Great of its rat population.

The response deadline for tendering is 12 noon on 15 June 2020 (Ref: SPU CO22-2020 – Great Saltee Rat Eradication Project). The DCHG contact person is Orla Kelly, email: orla.kelly@ahg.gov.ie, ‘phone 01 631 3898, and the NPWS contact person is Paul Laycock (Source: https://irl.eu-supply.com/ctm/Supplier/PublicPurchase/166934/0/0?returnUrl=ctm/Supplier/publictenders&b=ETENDERS_SIMPLE).