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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
New campaign waged against mink
Mink are a non-native species on the islands
The next phase of a project to wipe out mink in the Western Isles to protect wild birds is about to begin.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) said it was poised to appoint a manager to head the Hedridean Mink Project in Lewis and Harris.

It has been extended to the two areas after the agency deemed the scheme a success in the Uists.

The animals were introduced to the islands when mink were farmed for their fur in the 1950s and 60s.

SNH said it was expected that up to 12 trappers would be employed over the next five years.

Project chairman David Maclennan said: "The work in Uist has demonstrated that eradication is achievable and we are confident that Lewis and Harris can also be cleared of mink."

RSPB Scotland has warned that mink are "decimating" colonies of sea birds on the Western Isles.

The organisation said five or six chicks were surviving when normally there should be more than 100.

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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