- Written by Gus Jones
- Category: Meetings
- Published: 21 June 2011
The Scottish Mink Initiative (SMI) is looking for people to join over 200 volunteers in the monitoring and removal of breeding American mink. The SMI covers over 20,000 hectares of north Scotland and the Highlands, and incorporates the previous water vole conservation projects.
As the new work area is much larger than before, new volunteers are being sought to monitor mink rafts every fortnight and report on any footprints found. Equipment, training and support are provided by the Initiative through local Officers.
The Initiative is being carried out in partnership by the Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS), Scottish Wildlife Trust, the University of Aberdeen, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Cairngorms National Park Authority and more than 16 other organisations.
The £920,000 funding has been awarded in recognition of the huge impact American mink have on native wildlife. Species which are particularly at risk are those which mink find easiest to catch; populations of water voles have been found be disappear from areas which mink have colonised and birds such as curlew and oyster catchers are vulnerable as mink catch adults as they sit on the nest and raid nests to eat the eggs.