Mink menace threatens river life

Mink on the Bure at Horstead © Dinah Groom

Mink are opportunistic and aggressive predators. And they are here in the River Bure. Although preferring small mammals and birds over fish, they can devour a water vole population in a blink.

In 2017 the number of mink sightings and captures on the River Bure were double that of 2016. Multiple numbers of mink were trapped and humanely culled in our locality. “We are lucky enough to have water voles in Burgh’s water courses and we should as a community try to do our very best to protect them,” says Chrissie McVeigh.

“They are a threatened species, experts suggest the national population decline of the water vole is now at 90 per cent. Water voles have full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Norfolk is an important stronghold for the water vole so let us try and help keep it that way.”

American mink are not a native species. They were originally bought to the UK for fur farming in the 1920s, some mink escaped the fur farms and others were intentionally released by animal activists. With no natural predator, the American mink thrived and numbers grew. The negative impact on our indigenous wildlife has been significant.

“Please report any sightings of mink in and around our parish on the Norfolk Mink Project website or let me know and I will report it for you. I would suggest to anyone interested in learning more about mink and the plight of the water vole to visit these websites,” said Chrissie.

Norfolk Mink Project | Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership | Norfolk Wildlife Trust

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