Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mink escape is possible threat to Irish Rivers

Upto 1000 mink have escaped from a mink farm near Ardara in County Donegal putting local wildlife and especially the fisheries in the Rivers Glen, Owenea and Gweebarra at risk. At this particular time of year Salmon will be returning to spawn in these catchments making them easy prey for these voracious predators. Unlike the European Mink (Mustela lutreola), which is an endangered species, the American Mink (Neovison vison) has proved to be a problematic invasive species.  Similar escapes caused by animal rights activists have resulted in large mortalities of these animals within a short time after release; so while it  is unlikely that the majority of the escaped  mink will either survive or escape being trapped, it is inevitable that a large breeding population in the area will become established which will have long term effects on aquatic and waterside species. 

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