Mink rafts

If you walk or cycle in the Malltraeth Marsh area you are quite likely to see mink rafts.

A mink raft - used to monitor whether American mink (a predator of the water vole) are present.

A mink raft – used to monitor whether American mink (a predator of the water vole) are present.

The mink rafts are part of a project to try and improve prospects for the water vole (Arvicola terrestris). Its numbers are in decline in the UK and the American mink (Mustela vison) is part of the reason for that.

The mink were originally introduced to the UK for fur production in the 1920s. They quickly started escaping (and/or being released) and by the 1950s they were breeding in the wild. However, it was only in 2005 that the first American mink was found on Anglesey.

American mink are not fussy about what they eat: they regularly take eggs and chicks, fish and water voles.

The purpose of the mink rafts is to monitor “traffic” along the waterways of the Malltraeth Marsh. There is a clay plate inside the tunnel part of the rafts. These are regularly checked to see whether American mink have passed through.

For more information on the project visit The Water Vole Project page of Menter Mon’s website.

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