Water crowfoot

American mink

September 25, 2015

American mink first arrived in Britain in 1929, but only in commercial fur farms – now as a result of escapees and deliberate releases, it is virtually impossible to estimate the number of mink living in our rivers

Mink are native to North America but were bought into Britain in the early 20th century to be bred for their fur.

By the 1950s mink escaped from fur farms and spread throughout the country. They usually hunt for food in woodlands and near watercourses and eat fish, small mammals and birds. They also prey upon poultry on farms and fish stocks in lakes. Mink often need to be controlled because of the damage that they can cause to wildlife, fisheries and property. They are a particular danger to our native water voles, which are protected in this country. Currently mink are trapped and destroyed to minimise the damage they can wreak on our native species.