A bounty for caught stoats could be the answer for control of the population on Orkney, says Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston.
Efforts to control the predators have been blocked by a number of landowners who have refused access out of a frustration over a lack of action on geese numbers.
Orkney Native Wildlife Project, which is charged with controlling the stoat population and its impact on local wildlife and biodiversity, has underlined the urgency of tackling the issue.
Stoat numbers are expected to increase in the coming months and spread to outlying islands.
Mr Halcro Johnston sought information from rural affairs minister Marie Gougeon on work with local farmers and what support the Scottish Government can give bodies such as Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Mr Halcro Johnston said: “While it is entirely understandable that local farmers want to signal their anger, and will want real action to demonstrate that their concerns over geese control are being taken seriously, the efforts to control the stoat numbers must also be allowed to succeed.
“I met with SNH last month and was pleased that they are looking at all options.
“In addition to moving forward to address the geese problem, I have also called for a small bounty for stoats caught on private land, to encourage landowners to allow access as soon as possible.”