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Mink and ponds...

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Mink and ponds...

Postby Zathras » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:18 am

On our most recent camp at the woods, we saw our first Mink.
We always have animals rustling around camp and had previously found tracks for an animal I couldn't identify, then one evening this visit I had something large come right up to me while sitting quietly in the dark looking at the stars and fishing.

When I turned to look, it ran off at speed and I wasn't sure what it was - but the next day in the light we saw three of them (two adults and a juvenile) came to investigate the tent while on a trip down the waterway.

I knew very little about Mink and have been trying to do some research, the feedback I'm getting is somewhat mixed and I'm not sure how much of a threat they are to my pond wildlife.

It does seem that they are largely responsible for decline in voles and on some websites including BBC nature they are evil and must be stopped.
Yet on others they are generally regarded as less of a problem to the ecosystem and compared with Otters, Pine Martins, Ferrets etc.

I see there is a previous Mink thread here but it doesn't discuss the possible threat in any detail.

Should I be concerned for my pond and/or consider action, or just enjoy their company?
Last edited by Zathras on Thu Aug 07, 2014 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby Dexter's Shed » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:30 am

I'll probably get jumped on by the normal person saying my reply is unnecessary, but yet again, mink are non native and classed as a pest all year round, as for should you control them, I suppose that depends on if you want other wildlife to visit your pond, as already mentioned by yourself the voles (protected) will get hit, along with others, the newt being a common second favourite, fledgling ducks are taken too, in simply terms, if it's meat and moves, it's on the mink's list
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby SimonFisher » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:48 am

Dexter's Shed wrote:I'll probably get jumped on by the normal person saying my reply is unnecessary...

I don't see why - you've provided some useful information as to what will happen if the mink remain ;-)

What would predate mink in their natural habitat?
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby Zathras » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:53 am

I had been expecting to see newts in the pond and haven't found any yet.

It does make me wonder if there is a connection.
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby oldclaypaws » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:14 pm

"Their diet mostly consists of fish, small rodents, amphibians, crustaceans, and insects depending on its ecological niche. Voles are one of the primary targets for both mink species and as a result of this, some vole species are experiencing a significant population decline".

Mr Newt = light snack, before main course of Mr Vole.
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby smojo » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:50 pm

What would predate mink in their natural habitat?


A man looking for a warm coat to impress his missus? :)
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby Dexter's Shed » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:19 am

SimonFisher wrote:
What would predate mink in their natural habitat?


here in the uk, only us, remember it's non native, over in the usa there's lots of bigger predatory animals
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby oldclaypaws » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:27 am

Apparently,

Natural predators of mink are coyotes, wolves, bears, great horned owls, and bobcats. Otters have also been known to kill mink, but another HUGE predator of mink is mankind; for the fur. Mink may be occasionally taken by birds of prey, or young in a nest may be taken by snakes.Here in the UK mink do not have any predators.
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby Zathras » Thu Aug 07, 2014 9:54 am

I'm coming to the conclusion that I should deal with the Mink, which is a shame but for the greater environmental good and diversity.

However, it is going to be more involved than taking an opportune rabbit or squirrel with an air rifle.
This will clearly require some further thought, planning and appropriate timing for traps - so unlikely to be tackled in my immediate future.

Is there a body which I should be reporting Mink sighting too in the meantime?

If/when I do dispatch a Mink, is any part worth eating and what ideas would people have for a pelt or two?
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Re: Mink and ponds...

Postby Dexter's Shed » Thu Aug 07, 2014 11:30 am

with any animal that I've ever culled, I've kept the eating idea simple, if it's a veg eater, ie rabbit,squirrel,munjac etc, then it's ok to eat, if it's a meat eater, ie carrion,fox,mink etc then it's a big NO, as they can carry a wider amount of harmful disease's

as for using the fur, try looking on you tube, theirs loads of ways you could tan the hide without expensive potions, make yourself a few simple items

although floating traps/break back types are the best, it would probably be better to use live catch traps as your not used to setting kill type traps, that way non target species could be released, although using live catch means visits every 24hrs to keep within the law, if you do happen to catch a mink, do not put hands/fingers anywhere near it, they are killers, far better than an air rifle, apply for a shotgun license and get a little 410, brilliant for humane dispatch of live caught animals
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