Mink on the River Adur

Mink on the River AdurThe American Mink (Neovison vison) is a non-native species which escaped/was released from fur farms around 70 years ago. This semi-aquatic species is a mustelid (same family as stoats, badgers, weasels and otters) and eats rodents, fish, crustaceans, frogs and birds. American mink are cited as one of the main causes of the dramatic decline in national water vole populations as females are small enough to fit into burrows, often wiping out entire water vole colonies. Mink are also known to kill fish, sometimes leaving the entire remains on the bank and are one of the species known to hunt for fun as well as for subsistence. Protecting our native species is important to the overall diversity of the countryside and when such a successful predator is suddenly introduced the impacts are often dramatic.

OART is starting to work with landowners on the Adur to begin a programme of controlling populations, with our first two rafts out on the

eastern arm of the main river we have, over the past six weeks, captured six mink, a much higher number than expected. We are hoping to expand this across the catchment and are investigating various funding opportunities to assist with this.

We would be very interested in hearing if you see mink on the River Adur, or River Ouse. Additionally, if you are a riparian landowner and would like to learn more about mink control and possibly get involved then let me know, peter.king@oart.org.uk