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Are mink numbers increasing in Wester Ross?

Posted: Monday 1 October, 2012 @ 14:47:34

The mink & the burn mouth near Culduie (photos by Ben Rushbrooke)

The North American mink continues to cause concern around Wester Ross. Over the past few weeks, mink have been recorded around Gruinard Bay, near Aultbea, on the Isle of Ewe, on the road near Kinlochewe and there is a report of a mink sighting between Gairloch and Poolewe.

Mink are opportunistic and have a varied diet which includes ground nesting birds, amphibians, and small mammals, particularly the Water Vole, populations of which have been decimated by mink in some parts of the UK.  Mink also take fish. Surveys by the Outer Hebrides Fisheries Trust demonstrated that along streams where mink were present, densities of juvenile fish (salmon and trout) could be significantly lower than where mink were not present.

On 23nd September 2012, Ben Rushbrooke watched a mink by the burn mouth near Culduie on the Applecross peninsula. The mink was recorded eating a fish which appears to be a trout. Ben recorded a video which has been uploaded on to You Tube and can be found by clicking here, or at the following link: .

If you think you have seen a mink in the Wester Ross Fisheries Trust area (between Achiltibuie and Knoydart), please contact the WRFT Biologist at , or Gunnar Scholtz, the Scottish Mink Initiative Project Officer for the North Highland area, at , tel. 07825 184 080.

Further information about mink and the on-going programme to control mink in Scotland can be found on the Scottish Mink Initiative’s website at .