Highlands & Islands

Mink text alerts aid predator cull on Western Isles

Mink Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mink escaped from fur farms in the 1960s and 70s

The culling of non-native American mink on the Western Isles, which began 13 years ago, is almost completed.

Scottish Natural Heritage anticipates that the animals could be eradicated from the isles by 2017.

Blamed for preying on birds and voles, the mammals are the descendants of mink that escaped from fur farms operated in the 1960s and 70s.

Aiding the cull is a trap called Mink Police which sends out a text alert when a mink is caught.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mink have been blamed for preying on native species such as voles

Led by Scottish Natural Heritage, the Hebridean Mink Project was started in 2001. Ten years later 1,530 animals had been trapped.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has helped to fund the cull.

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