Page last updated at 13:43 GMT, Wednesday, 29 April 2009 14:43 UK

Hedgehog posts pull in applicants

Hedgehogs have been relocated to the mainland

A job removing hedgehogs from the Western Isles to help protect ground nesting birds has attracted keen interest from applicants.

Almost 100 people applied for a handful of spring fieldworker posts on the Uist Wader Project.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), which is involved in the scheme, said the response was "absolutely fantastic".

Hedgehogs, a non-native species to the isles, are being relocated to the mainland.

They have been blamed for preying on the eggs of birds such as dunlin and ringed plover.

A cull of hedgehogs was originally started to protect the wading birds.

The agency had previously said hedgehogs would not survive relocation.

However, animal welfare campaigners began their own programme of trapping and transporting the hedgehogs.

SNH hand over the hedgehogs to a welfare organisation in line with guidance from the Scottish SPCA.

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