Removal of American mink (Neovison vison) from the Uists, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Roy, S. S., Chauvenet, A. L. M. and Robertson, P. A. (2015) Removal of American mink (Neovison vison) from the Uists, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Biological Invasions, 17 10: 2811-2820. doi:10.1007/s10530-015-0927-y

Author Roy, S. S.
Chauvenet, A. L. M.
Robertson, P. A.
Title Removal of American mink (Neovison vison) from the Uists, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Formatted title
Removal of American mink (Neovison vison) from the Uists, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Journal name Biological Invasions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1387-3547
Publication date 2015-10
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10530-015-0927-y
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 17
Issue 10
Start page 2811
End page 2820
Total pages 10
Place of publication Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Since escaping from fur farms in the 1950s, American mink had colonised the 2800 km2 archipelago of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. Between November 2001 and June 2006 the species was removed from a total of 850 km2 of the southernmost islands, collectively named the Uists, as part of a pilot study exploring the feasibility of large scale eradication throughout the archipelago. Animals were also controlled in neighbouring South Harris (255 km2) to reduce the risk of recolonisation. The project used two main methods, the operation of coastal and riparian cage traps; and trapping at breeding dens located using trained dogs. In the Uists this resulted in 100,824 trap nights over 4 years. Den searches were carried out over 500 handler-days. Overall a total of 228 mink was caught in The Uists, with the last capture in March 2005. After this date, despite a further 7 months of intensive trapping and searching effort, no further signs of mink were found and they were considered likely to have been removed from this region. In the buffer area of South Harris, 41,674 trap nights over 4 years resulted in 240 captures with few animals being caught by the end of the project. This effort greatly reduced the risk of recolonisation from this region, although there was still a possibility of extant isolated populations remaining within the region, particularly on offshore islets, which would then be detected and trapped by a follow up programme. An adaptive management process resulted in significant increases in trapping efficiency. Improvements included optimisation of trap spacing and the frequency and duration of trap-line operation; improvements in the cage designs and use of lures. The protocols developed here were used in the subsequent eradication campaign in the remainder of the Outer Hebrides.
Keyword Invasive alien species
Outer Hebrides
Wildlife management
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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