American mink control on inland rivers in southern England: An experimental test of a model strategy
Harrington LA., Harrington AL., Moorhouse T., Gelling M., Bonesi L., Macdonald DW.
Invasive species are an important driver of global biodiversity loss. Under international legislation, the UK has an obligation to eradicate or to control the alien, invasive American mink. Using a large-scale field experiment, we tested the effectiveness of a specified mink removal strategy, identified through earlier modelling work, in reducing the relative abundance of mink. We found that mink removal could be effective in reducing mink populations with four months or less of trapping per year, over only 2-3 years, but that for small sites (c. 20 km) a flexible, reactive approach, coupled with continual monitoring for mink presence is necessary. Survival of reintroduced water voles at four sub-sites within our mink removal sites suggest that the reactive mink removal strategy adopted in this study was sufficient for water vole protection. We discuss the use of an adaptive management approach in local mink management, and consider the wider implications of our results for invasive species control on mainlands. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.