The invasive American mink (Neovison vison) preys on native fauna. The pilot phase of the Hebridean Mink Project (HMP) ran from 2001–2006 at a cost of £1.6 million and successfully removed the species from 1100 km2 of the southern islands of the Hebridean Archipelago, the Uists. Mink were also controlled in South Harris to prevent reinvasion. 532 mink were removed, and no further animals were caught or recorded in the eradication area in the last six months of the project. The entire archipelago is now being trapped using techniques developed from the pilot phase. The programme used an adaptive approach, learning as the project proceeded. The lessons learned were also applied to two other scenarios. These included the Isle of Mull, where with limited resources, trapping is carried out by volunteers, and the development of a national management plan in Ireland, where the species is widespread and farmed. The strategies and techniques developed in the Hebrides were modified to fit these differing scenarios. These are discussed together with an exploration of how we can increase our capacity to manage the species over larger landscape scales.
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Vol. 42 • No. 2