A team of five trappers are to be deployed across the country from Monday next to hunt down predators including feral mink that are ravaging trout and endangered birds.
The trappers will be engaged by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to catch them in riverside traps. The mink will be captured in live traps set close to the nesting sites of protected birds. They have been instructed to kill the mink "humanely".
This is the sixth year that the NPWS has sought tenders for the trapping of animals such as mink, grey crows and foxes.
Pat Warner, of the NPWS, said they were seeking to protect species such as the corncrake and other protected birds.
He stressed there was an urgent need for the protection of the curlew.