Water Voles & Mink

  |  Published: Aug 9th 2016
water vole at sunningwell - andrew dore/bbowt
Water vole at Sunningwell - Andrew Dore/BBOWT

Editor's note: earlier in 2016, a photo of what appeared to be a mink along the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal was submitted to Wendover News by a local reader. Below is BBOWT's response.

 

The photo does show a mink and we do know that they are on the canal. With some good habitat remaining on the Wendover Canal for voles, it would seem that mink are the likely cause of their demise. Several years ago BBOWT initiated a programme of mink monitoring and control on the canal in conjunction with the Canal and River Trust in the hope that water voles would return. We regularly monitored mink rafts in place and the CRT employed a contractor to trap and dispatch mink when signs were detected.  Sadly the CRT are no longer able to fund a contractor and although BBOWT staff and trained volunteers continue to look, we have not found any evidence of water voles on the canal since 2012. With mink obviously active on the canal and no known water vole colonies nearby, it seems unlikely that voles will recolonise the canal again although we're always interested to hear of any reported sightings that we can follow up. I would also encourage anybody who sees a mink to report their sighting to the CRT.

Wendy Tobitt

Media & Campaigns Manager

Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust

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