The American mink is a fearless, predatory mammal in the same family as stoats and otters. They are semi-aquatic, with partially webbed feet, and are normally found close to rivers, drainage ditches and lakes or in coastal habitats. Mink are typically about 50 – 60cm long and weigh 0.7 – 2 kg, with males [...]
Like so many animal and plant species that have been introduced to Britain by humans, mink have thrived here because, compared to home, they have fewer competitors, predators and diseases to keep their population in check. Also in their favour is that many native birds and mammals here have evolved in the absence of [...]
Thanks to the work of conservation volunteers and professionals in many parts of Britain, we now know that, yes, water voles and birds quickly rebound after mink have been removed. Getting rid of introduced, invasive animals like this is one of the best uses of conservation money, and the benefits are usually quickly apparent. [...]
Yes, we know this to be a realistic prospect because something similar has been done in mainland Scotland, and over an equally huge area. It would be a massive challenge, but could be achieved with a sound plan, adequate resources of money and time, and a can-do attitude. This would be community-based nature conservation [...]
Yes, once a mink has been captured it is then illegal to release it back into the wild. Orders made under the Destructive Imported Animals Act 1932 make it illegal to keep mink without a licence, and stipulate precautions that must be taken to prevent escape. Because of this legislation it also means you [...]
American mink are inquisitive, and research has shown that they find it hard to resist investigating a tunnel, especially if the tunnel is floating on a raft. If a cage trap is placed in the tunnel, any visiting mink is likely to go inside and be caught when the trap door closes. The traps [...]
This methodology allows the eradication of mink to be as ‘surgical’ as possible; no other creatures are significantly affected. Better still, no toxins are involved, as they would be in a rodent eradication operation, for example, so the environmental impact is solely positive.
Animal welfare must be exemplary in a project like this, and is one of the major reasons for carrying out the work. Due to human actions, introduced American mink have killed millions of native animals in Britain, causing pain and suffering to each prey creature they attack. The WRT project aims to bring an [...]