Sunday 24 September 2017

Tidy Towns board in mink cull to protect waterfowl

AS THOUSANDS of Tidy Towns volunteers put out flower boxes and clean up streets in preparation for judging, one committee has begun a unique initiative by killing feral mink.

Athlone Tidy Towns Committee in Co Westmeath decided to contact the National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) when they noticed a decline in waterfowl in the area. Athlone is home to a range of wild birds, including the endangered corncrake.

When the non-native mink was identified as a key contributor, the Tidy Towns committee offered to begin culling the predators.

Seamus McCann of Athlone Tidy Towns says he has already killed a number of mink in the area.

"The mink is a ferocious killer, they actually kill for fun as well as for food," he explained. Mink were originally brought to Ireland by fur farmers, but are now established in many parts of the country.

Irish Independent

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