New Biosecurity Measures on the Calf of Man

– Posted on Monday 1st October 2012

A project partnership between Manx National Heritage, Manx Wildlife Trust, The Food and Environment Research Agency, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Manx BirdLife and the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture

An operation to eradicate longtails (brown rats) on the Calf of Man is now in progress and continues until March 2013, to be followed by a period of regular monitoring for any remaining signs of longtails.

Longtails are invasive, non-native rodents that prey on seabirds and their chicks. They were accidentally introduced to the Calf in the late 1700s and have remained a threat to the Manx Shearwaters and other ground-nesting birds despite previous attempts to control them.

Permanent biosecurity measures, including goods and supply quarantine procedures, are in place on the Calf to prevent further entry by longtails. Boat owners and visitors to the Calf are asked to assist the project by taking the following precautions to ensure that rodents do not find their way back to the island.

  • Check your hold and bilge areas regularly for signs of longtails and take steps to catch and remove any suspected to be present.
  • Check fishing and other gear stored on the quayside and take appropriate steps to protect from longtail stowaways.
  • Pack foodstuffs and other materials destined for the Calf in rat-proof containers and check for rodent signs before loading on to boat.
  • Inspect equipment for signs of rodents before loading for Calf supply. Longtails are very clever at hiding away and slipping onto vessels without being noticed.
  • Be especially vigilant if mooring alongside any of the Calf harbours for more than a few minutes, or if intending to drop anchor close to the shore.
  • Do not leave vessels unattended at Calf harbours, as they may hamper efforts to supply the Calf wardens with food and fuel.

Please help us to rid the Calf of this unwelcome predator. Be vigilant. Protect your cargo and storage areas.

For further details, please contact Manx National Heritage, tel 648022 or 648052, e-mail: or

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