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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 December 2006, 10:54 GMT
Agency has predator in its sights
Mink were introduced to the isles in the 1950s
A Scottish Natural Heritage project to protect wildlife by eradicating a non-native predator from the Western Isles is about to begin.

Mink were introduced to the islands in the 1950s and 60s when they were farmed for their fur.

The animals are blamed for preying on wild birds and farmed fish.

SNH expect the success of the 2.5m scheme on Lewis and Harris to be monitored by RSPB Scotland and Western Isles Fisheries Trust.

The agency recently advertised for trappers to take on the job of exterminating the mink.

Wader birds

David MacLennan, SNH's area manager, said: "The first phase of the project lasted five years and has been a complete success and we are delighted to confirm that work will shortly commence in earnest in this the second phase.

"The funding is in place to allow us to proceed with this work to protect internationally important nesting wader birds.

"The benefits of the removal of mink have been carefully monitored over the past five years and the overwhelming evidence is that its prey species, both bird and fish, are recovering well from earlier predation rates."

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24 Nov 06 |  Highlands and Islands
New campaign waged against mink
01 Sep 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Mink 'run amok' in bird colonies
24 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
'Ratty' given protection officer
11 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Mink attacks threaten water voles
09 May 06 |  South Yorkshire
Isles mink cull to be stepped up
30 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Mink being wiped out in Hebrides
24 Jan 05 |  Scotland

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