Mink: Lincolnshire

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 25th October 2016.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins Conservative, Louth and Horncastle

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the (a) extent of the increase in numbers of North American mink in the river systems and waterways of the marshes of East Lindsey and (b) effect of that increase on (i) the water vole and (ii) other native wildlife species.

Photo of Therese Coffey Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Since 2008, the Water Vole Database and Mapping Project has managed and stored water vole survey records, as well collating data on American mink. This has enabled mapping of this data and effective use of the datasets for the benefit of water vole populations. The map on page 66 of the 2014 report, found at http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/watervole-project, indicates a thriving population of water vole in the Lindsey Marshes. The data for East Lindsey can be requested from the Lincolnshire Environmental Records Centre.

The project does not itself involve assessing the effect of one species on another but the presence of American mink is the most significant factor in the decline of the water vole. Ongoing control of the mink at a catchment scale is therefore a priority for water vole conservation.

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