The delicate balance of our ecosystems is constantly under threat from invasive species that disrupt the natural harmony of plant and animal life. The Waterlife Recovery Trust, a leading conservation organisation, has taken a proactive approach to protect water voles in the UK from the devastating impact of the invasive American mink. By using innovative techniques for mink trapping, such as the Filcris Fenland Edged Mink Raft, the Trust is working to eradicate minks and restore the balance of our ecosystems to save vulnerable water voles and seabirds from extinction.
The Waterlife Recovery Trust’s Approach
The Waterlife Recovery Trust has taken a varied approach to addressing this crisis. One of their main strategies involves the use of the Filcris Fenland Edged Mink Raft, a mink trapping technique designed to attract them through the use of bait and scent. The rafts are equipped with non-lethal traps, which enable the Trust to monitor and capture the minks. This approach ensures that any which are captured can be removed from the area, preventing further ecological damage.
Impact on the Ecosystem
By actively targeting invasive mink in the UK, the Trust aims to restore the natural balance of the ecosystems in British Waters, that water voles and seabirds inhabit. By diminishing the American mink population, they hope to relieve the pressure on the water vole population, allowing them to recover and once again fulfil their role in the ecosystem.
The absence of water voles leads to vegetation overgrowth, decreased biodiversity, and changes in hydrology. This disruption affects not only the water voles themselves but also a range of other species that rely on their presence for survival.
Environmental groups said there had been a 97% decline in the number of water voles since 1950 – largely due to mink.
The BBC have written more about this project and the Trust’s use of the Filcris mink raft across the East of England, read here.
Through the dedicated use of our Fenland Edged Mink Raft and the efforts of hundreds of conservation volunteers, the Trust has been actively taking steps to capture and eradicate American mink in the UK since 2018, thereby protecting water voles and restoring the balance of our ecosystems.