B3 Article in conference proceedings
A long way from home - American mink in Finland

List of Authors: Pälvi Salo
Place: Chyrzyno
Publication year: 2014
Book title *: Ekologia i wpływ na środowisko gatunków inwazyjnych
Number of pages: 19
ISBN: 978-83-941046-0-3


The American mink (Neovison vison) was introduced to Finland as a fur animal in the 1920s. Escapees from fur farms soon established feral populations and by the 1980s mink had invaded the whole country, including the south-western archipelago. When the numbers of many seabird species typical of the outer archipelago started to decline, Metsähallitus (a state enterprise managing the Archipelago National Park) launched a pilot project to remove mink from a group of islands in 1992. Hunters involved in the project utilized mostly a novel combination of dogs to locate mink and a leaf-blower to drive mink out from refugia under boulders, but traps were also used. The results were very encouraging as the number of removed mink declined within a couple of years from 30-40 mink/hunting season to 0-6 individuals per season. Mink removal was therefore extended to another island group in 1998 and even further in 2006, currently covering ca 750 km2 of sea with scattered small islands and islets in the outermost part of the Archipelago Sea. The experimental setup of mink removal and matching control areas has produced a lot of research about mink impacts on native fauna, showing that mink predation has a negative effect on many bird species breeding on the islands, but also on small mammals, frogs and reptiles in the archipelago. Mink eradication is thus an important conservation issue, and Metsähallitus is enhancing similar actions also in other bird protection areas along the Finnish coast.

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Last updated on 2019-21-08 at 23:04