Invasive Minks Thrive on Scottish Coast

EXETER, England, Dec. 24 (UPI) — The invasive American mink has become increasingly dependent on seafood from the coastline of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, scientists in Britain said.

Scientists from the University of Exeter performed an isotope analysis on carcasses found on the islands to determine the diet of the mink — offspring of American mink that have escaped from fur farms since 1929, when they were first introduced to Britain.

“We were astonished at how much we could find out by analyzing the claws and whiskers of the mink,” university researcher Thomas Bodey said in a release Wednesday.

The American mink is one of Britain’s most damaging invasive species and knowing more about where they feed and how they live will help with efforts to eradicate them, Bodey said.

The mink have had a devastating effect on British water voles and other native mammals, fish and seabirds, Bodey said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Animals, Fish, Mammals, Other
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