Scottish Mink Initiative

The Scottish Mink Initiative

Ann-Marie MacMaster, Project Co-ordinator –

View the latest SMI Newsletter HERE

The Initiative is a key component of RAFTS Biosecurity and Invasive Non-Native Species Programme and implements a large scale strategic approach to American mink control in Scotland, as recommended by SNH through the Species Action Framework. Aiming to protect native wildlife, such as water voles, ground nesting birds and economically important populations of salmon and game birds, to help protect local economic stability for the benefit of local communities, the project will eradicate breeding mink from 20,000 km2 of north and northeastern Scotland. The Initiative also supports awareness and local capacity building activities as well as the development of local management models for future mink control.

The Initiative is a partnership between RAFTS, Scottish Wildlife Trust, the University of Aberdeen, Scottish Natural Heritage, and more than 16 other organisations.  The SMI is funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Tubney Charitable Trust, Cairngorms National Park Authority and the Scottish Government and the European Community Cairngorms, Highland, Moray, Rural Aberdeenshire and Rural Tayside Local Action Groups LEADER 2007-2013 Programme.

The Scottish Mink Initiative has been very successful over the last two and half years and, although the first phase has now closed, SMI will continue with future work largely being supported through local organisations rather than Mink Control Officers.  The work of these organisations will be guided by the SMI Project Coordinator, Ann-Marie MacMaster, who is based in North Tayside.  The contact person and organisation in each area is given in the table below together with the contact details of the SMI Project Coordinator.

This organisational change was one of the key objectives of the current project phase. Local organisations are  assuming responsibility for mink control in order to enable the work of the SMI to expand geographically, as well as to ensure long term sustainability of mink management.  Control and eradication of breeding American mink and other invasive non-native species requires long-term effort, otherwise re-invasion from areas with little or no control is likely to occur.  As such the SMI management partnership is committed to continue to seek resources to support the invaluable work being undertaken by the SMI.  We look forward to another productive phase of the SMI!

Local delivery for the work is being taken forward through the organisations below:

Name Contact Fisheries Trust Area
Shona Marshall             Tel: 01971 502259 West Sutherland Coigach to Durness
Peter Cunningham                    Tel: 01445 712899 Wester Ross Loch Hourn to Loch Broom
Lynn Brydon   Tel: 07887 845648 Cromarty Firth Conon, Black Isle andDornoch Firth
Keith Williams             Tel: 01463 783505 Ness and Beauly Locations within the Ness and Beauly catchments
Bob Laughton             Tel: 01309 611220 Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie Locations within the Findhorn, Nairn and Lossie catchments
Polly Burns Tel 01340 810841 Spey Foundation Locations within the Spey catchment
Robin Vasey      Tel: 01466 711388 Deveron, Bogie, Isla Fisheries Trust Locations within the Deveron, Bogie, Isla, Philorth and Ugie catchments
Jamie Urquhart     Tel: 01330 830080 River Don Locations within the River Don and River Ythan catchments
Lorraine Hawkins                  Tel: 01339 880411 River Dee Locations within the River Dee catchment
Nigel McMullen                   Tel: 07786 060431 Esk Rivers Locations within

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