THE NORFOLK MINK PROJECT
The Norfolk Mink Project was started in 2003, primarily to help halt the decline in the water vole population caused by introduced American mink (Neovison vison). After an initial focus on the River Wensum, in 2006 the Project was expanded to cover the Broads and the River Nar. Using the experience gained, the Project embarked on a new strategy in 2012 to help reduce mink population densities throughout the entire county using a network of volunteers.
The Norfolk Mink Project is led by the Norfolk County Council’s Non-native Species Initiative and supported and funded by modest grants from bodies such as the Environment Agency, the Water Management Alliance the Broads Authority, a levy on landfill and the EU. It is guided by a Steering Group of key partners and wildlife management specialists.
To help manage the Strategy, Norfolk is sub divided into ten ‘Control Areas’. These are based on the major river catchments shown in the map; Trapping in each area is co-ordinated by someone employed, part time, by the project. The objective is to have organised mink control over the whole county by the end of 2014.
Control is based on the use of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust Mink rafts. These provide both, monitoring points and, when mink are detected, provide trapping locations. Mink are caught using a cage trap and humanely dispatched; non-target animals are released unharmed.