Have you seen a mink recently?

After a long gap with no sightings on the Foss, we had a confirmed successful breeding attempt near Loch Fyne restaurant a few weeks ago. The family has moved on, presumably because they eliminated all the local small wildfowl and larger fish – feeding a growing family of mink demands a lot of prey.

On that occasion it took a while to get the lines of communication sorted and we were unable to find the necessary specialists quickly enough to have them trapped.

We now have the necessary contacts in place, so should be able to act if there are any further confirmed sightings.

Mink are mobile creatures, and can often be seen passing through, in which case trapping is not likely to succeed. We need several confirmed sightings to be sure that they have occupied a territory, before we can act.

Please let us have any future sightings as soon as you make them, with an exact location and a photo – if not of the mink, of their tracks. Once we are sure they are around, we can arrange for a site survey, and if appropriate put out some traps.

Theoretically, otters are supposed to discourage mink, but with otter numbers low along the river, presumably this is not happening, at least not all the way along. As alien mammals they have few, if any, natural predators, and their effect on the local wildlife is significant. The only course of action open to us is to have them humanely trapped should they become a regular pest.