The RSPB placed mini rat motels across the area filled with cocoa and peanut butter flavoured wax blocks to catch them
2 MARCH 2018 • 12:01AM
A remote Scottish island has officially been declared rat-free after rodents were caught using peanut butter and chocolate.
In a four year programme to rid the Shiant Isles of its rodents, the RSPB placed mini rat motels across the area filled with cocoa and peanut butter flavoured wax blocks to catch them.
It is hoped by ridding the island of its non-native rats the seabird populations will be boosted by protecting their breeding sites.
The Isles, a cluster of islands five miles east of the Isle of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides, form one of the most important seabird breeding colonies in Europe, providing a home for around 100,000 pairs of nesting seabirds each year.
But it was feared that rats on the islands were feeding on eggs and chicks of the birds that breed there, including puffins, razorbills, and guillemots.
A monitoring programme last month found no evidence of rats - meaning none of the creatures have been recorded on the Isles for two years, meeting the internationally agreed criterion for rat-free status.