Mink Control

The best way of controlling mink and preventing their spread is to work together on a catchment scale, monitoring and removing mink from the whole catchment or river system.

By establishing a network of volunteers across Lochaber we hope to not only cover large areas but also encourage communication between volunteers, so if one landowner detects mink but hasn’t caught them they can spread the word to neighbours to increase trapping effort.

How are mink controlled?

Mink in a trap

Mink in a trap

Detection: unless you already know you have mink it makes sense to start off by using a mink raft to see if there are mink about. Mink rafts have a tunnel over a clay pad; as mink go through the tunnel (they are naturally inquisitive) they leave tracks on the clay. Rafts can be checked every one to two weeks and so are less labour-intensive than trapping.

Trapping: once you know you have mink in the area you can set your traps. Traps can be either mounted on the raft or dug into the bank near a watercourse. We use live traps to avoid the rcan be either mounted on the raft or dug into the bank near a watercourse. We use live traps to avoid the risk of killing non-target species.

Lure The Hebrdiean mink project used lure with great success. Lure (extract of mink gland) negates the need to use bait, which needs regular changing and is less species-specific than lure.

Dispatching mink. It is recommended to used an air weapon producing a minimum muzzle velocity of 6ft/lbs for pistols or 8ft/lbs for rifles. This power should be enough to kill the mink providing the weapon has contact with the cranium and is a slight angle from vertical. Prometheus tipped bullets are preferable.

Trapping is most successful in the breeding season (Feb-April) and when juveniles are dispersing (July-Sept).