Bird population on Scilly Isles recovers after islands are declared 'rat-free'

 Bird population on Scilly Isles recovers after islands are declared ‘rat-free’

Project to eradicate non-native brown rats that feed on eggs and chicks on St Agnes and Gugg is declared a success

bird

A Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) in flight. Its population on Scilly Isles was in decline since the 1980s, but the birds are now breeding successfully. Photograph: Alamy – Press Association

A project to protect breeding seabirds from invasive rats on the Scilly Isles has been a success with the two islands declared “rat-free”.

Bird populations on St Agnes and Gugh, linked by a sand bar, are starting to recover after a quarter century of year-on-year declines following work to eradicate the non-native brown rats which were feeding on eggs and chicks, conservationists said. Read more.