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American Mink - Neovison vison

A mink eradication programme is now active on the Wylye and the club is participating.

  1. The wildlife trusts across Britain have formally decreed that the invasive American mink, as released from fur farms decades ago but now widespread, represent only negative value to our environment. Native wildlife of many types has been adversely affected with the serious decline in Britain’s water vole population and some colonies of ground-nesting birds being particularly of note. The re-population of otters was hoped to result in the reduction in mink numbers but it is clear that mink are able to co-exist.

  2. The trusts across the country are involved in a major programme to eliminate mink and they have asked landowners and fishing and other clubs to assist in the eradication via the placing of traps.

  3. The Wildlife Trusts have a webpage with information on these mink: www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/mammals/american-mink. The American mink is the only species of mink found in this country, so identification should be relatively simple.

  4. Working with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, WFFC has been asked to help by placing a couple of traps on the S L catch and release beats. After consultation with WWT, it has been agreed to place one trap on beat C and one on beat A. Beat M has not been considered for now because there will be traps on the nearby Langford Lakes nature reserve.

  5. Wiltshire Wildlife Trust have provided PERDIX heavy gauge humane metal traps which will be housed in wooden tunnels sitting on top of floating rafts. These will be floating at the sides of the river. The traps remain the property of WWT.

  6. The intention is to check the traps every 24 hours. If that won’t be possible, the traps will be left un-set.

  7. In the event that a mink is trapped, it will be swiftly despatched in line with WWT guidance. After despatching, any mink caught will be weighed, measured and sexed with the results recorded on an app called MinkMApp.

  8. If a WFFC member finds a trap and believes that there is an animal of any kind inside, please call Ian, our club Mink contact on 07957 365666 immediately.  If you cannot get hold of Ian, then please call Jon, the club secretary ASAP. Please do not otherwise interfere with one of the traps.

The legal stuff on mink and the traps:

  1. Mink are regarded as non-native vermin and it is illegal to release such trapped animals back into the wild. This also applies to grey squirrels. 

  2. All other, non-target, species must be released. This includes brown rats, not least due to the potential for misidentification with water voles. 
     

American Mink - Neovison vison_edited.jp
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