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Mink cull

Paul Boote

No Longer a Member
On my river (and surrounding others) in Wales in the mid to late 1960s the old Ministry of Agriculture employed a full-time mink-trapper. Whenever I was down there during schoolholidays, I checked the cage traps he had set along the stream on the farm on which I was staying and let him know if they had a hissing inmate. He took a fair few and let me have several of their pelts. Still tying flies with them.
 

Martin James

Senior Member
Good news on the mink, I run 10 mink traps on the River Ribble but sadly there are only three of us to the best of my knowledge doing this work, I also use mink traps for capturing grey squirrels. We must all do more against the predators this includes the two legged variety. We get a lot of help from the police with the latter.
 

Ray Thorpe

Senior Member
Hi Martin, Just out of interest why do you trap the grey Squirrels, what harm do they do.

Regards Ray Thorpe
 

Paul Boote

No Longer a Member
Pheasants aren't native, for that matter, but do we hear a call for their immediate and swift eradication...?

Mink are "do-able", but grey squirrels...

Just see the kiddies and their Mums come out when the selfless "alien eliminators" hit the urban and suburban parks...
 

Ian Crook

Senior Member
Where Martin lives and where I originate, there is still a small population of our Native Red Squirrels fighting to survive, most of the rest of the country, certainly the south they have been made extinct by the spread of big tough bullying alien grey squirrels, I would imagine that is why Martin is supporting the control of them........

Not quite sure which species has suffered as a result of Pheasants Paul?? Are Grouse numbers down or are they an import as well?
 

Paul Boote

No Longer a Member
EDIT: Redundant posting a second ago - currently hallucinating on horsepill-sized antibiotics treating a throat infection
 
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Stuart Brookes

Senior Member
In certain areas of the North East there is a bounty placed on grey squirrels to help preserve the red squirrel population.
Even the RSPB called for the culling of a duck they introduced, think it is the eider, due to them cross breeding with mallards and affecting to gene pool.
One good thing in favour of the "o" word creature is they kill mink in their territory.
 

David Gauntlett

Senior Member
Pheasants aren't native, for that matter, but do we hear a call for their immediate and swift eradication...?

Mink are "do-able", but grey squirrels...

Just see the kiddies and their Mums come out when the selfless "alien eliminators" hit the urban and suburban parks...
I know exactly what you are saying here Paul, and aggree with you entirely. It would, as you say, be a big mistake to be seen to be harming another of our furry, cuddly pests...a point often made when discussing otter control.

I think the link Steve Roffey provided is a reminder (to me at least) of how woefully inadequate the knowledge of most people is in regard to our wildlife. I for one was well aware that Grey squirrels were a pest introduced from the Americas, and that they were the primary cause of the demise of our native red squirrels. However, I was completely unaware that they are responsible for severely damaging, and at times even killing, our broadleaf trees. Neither did I know that they sometimes take birds eggs and fledgelings...presumably adding to the loss of some of our already endangered bird species. I thought I was reasonably well informed on our wildlife in general , compared to the average 'townie', but several issues recently have made me wonder.

Hardly surprising then that any such controls are met with howls of anguish and calls for lynching if they are brought to the notice of the 'Mums and kiddies' as you say. Perhaps if a programme of education were undertaken, to inform people of the generally unknown but disturbing side of such critters, it might help. Reducing the 'aahhh' factor by revealing the problems such animals cause, before carrying out any necessary controls, is surely the way forward?

Mind you, having said that, successful education relies on the general public actually wanting to know, and to at least some extent, being able to read :rolleyes:

Oh dear :eek:

Cheers, Dave.
 

Jim Foxall

Senior Member
Hi Martin, Just out of interest why do you trap the grey Squirrels, what harm do they do.

Regards Ray Thorpe
Apparently wreck song birds' nests, damage to lofts etc and kill off red squirrels largely through a virus which the greys carry. A neighbour culled over 100 grey squirrels in her garden - that's true. As for eating, apparently very good, but can't imagine much meat on them.
 

Paul Boote

No Longer a Member
I know exactly what you are saying here Paul, and aggree with you entirely. It would, as you say, be a big mistake to be seen to be harming another of our furry, cuddly pests...a point often made when discussing otter control.

I think the link Steve Roffey provided is a reminder (to me at least) of how woefully inadequate the knowledge of most people is in regard to our wildlife. I for one was well aware that Grey squirrels were a pest introduced from the Americas, and that they were the primary cause of the demise of our native red squirrels. However, I was completely unaware that they are responsible for severely damaging, and at times even killing, our broadleaf trees. Neither did I know that they sometimes take birds eggs and fledgelings...presumably adding to the loss of some of our already endangered bird species. I thought I was reasonably well informed on our wildlife in general , compared to the average 'townie', but several issues recently have made me wonder.

Hardly surprising then that any such controls are met with howls of anguish and calls for lynching if they are brought to the notice of the 'Mums and kiddies' as you say. Perhaps if a programme of education were undertaken, to inform people of the generally unknown but disturbing side of such critters, it might help. Reducing the 'aahhh' factor by revealing the problems such animals cause, before carrying out any necessary controls, is surely the way forward?

Mind you, having said that, successful education relies on the general public actually wanting to know, and to at least some extent, being able to read :rolleyes:

Oh dear :eek:

Cheers, Dave.


Yup. But, then again, killing officially designated vermin is fairly low down a list of priorities for an increasingly hard-pressed British public these days. It has been my experience that the ever-vociferous cullers and killers are cullers and killers by nature and inclination, forever finding peddle-able, persuasive and, sometimes, increasingly unlikely (baby-mauling foxes...) "good reasons" for justifying what they like to do, and that when one pest becomes no longer cullable for some reason, they find a new one to hit on and offer another set of very good reasons for doing so.

Grey squirrels? We will never rid Britain of the things now; trying to do so would be as impossible as putting the proverbial genie back into the bottle.
 

Martin James

Senior Member
I have just got in from the river, checking my traps I found one mink which was shot, checking the W/T it was up 4 degrees F I decided to fish for the chub catching a few good fish on cheese paste. Ref the grey squirrel I kill the grey squirrel as they cause a lot of damage in the countryside, they take birds eggs and fledglings, destroy trees , should one get in your loft and many do they cause immense damage. Most important of all they carry a pox which is deadly to our own native red squirrel. You wouldn't have a rat on your lawn so why a grey squirrel which is basically a tree rat, yes they do make good eating. After World War 2 when meat was rationed we sold many grey squirrels to the neighbours in our village. We might not get rid of all the grey squirrels but the less there the better. Below is an item I got off the internet

According to Mike Begon, professor of ecology at Liverpool University, conservationists long believed the popular "dogma" of the aggressive grey squirrel out-competing the red when the decisive factor in its decline all along may have been the pox virus carried by the greys.

Dale will work with the surviving population at Formby, Merseyside, where red numbers have slumped from 1,000 to 100 since the virus struck two years ago. "Formby is on the frontline in the battle for survival between red and grey squirrels," said Begon.

The research will be a race against time. Despite a patrolled buffer zone around the Formby area to prevent the incursion of greys, red squirrel carcasses were found every day during some periods of the epidemic, said National Trust property manager Andrew Brockbank.

"The woods feel eerily quiet now," he said. "There was always that prospect of a squirrel scurrying along a branch and you would hear it or see the particles of pine cones they were eating falling from the trees, and that's suddenly gone."

A red squirrel with the virus has not been found at Formby since December but the apparent halt of the epidemic may be temporary. There were two sightings of greys on the reserve in the last week.

Even if the disease does not immediately return, Dale will have to work quickly to test the remaining 100 before they die naturally to find out if they survived because they developed antibodies or simply because they avoided contact with infected squirrels.
 

Jim Foxall

Senior Member
Yup. But, then again, killing officially designated vermin is fairly low down a list of priorities for an increasingly hard-pressed British public these days. It has been my experience that the ever-vociferous cullers and killers are cullers and killers by nature and inclination, forever finding peddle-able, persuasive and, sometimes, increasingly unlikely (baby-mauling foxes...) "good reasons" for justifying what they like to do, and that when one pest becomes no longer cullable for some reason, they find a new one to hit on and offer another set of very good reasons for doing so.

Grey squirrels? We will never rid Britain of the things now; trying to do so would be as impossible as putting the proverbial genie back into the bottle.
Well summarised by Martin. I don't agree Paul, I would like to think that the majority of cullers believe in some form of management. For example, garden birds mean a lot to me and I look after them. Pigeons are not garden birds but I tolerate them. Seagulls just don't belong - I wouldn't shoot them but haven't any time for them either, they don't belong. Cormorants, no compunction in shooting them when plundering fresh waters. Deer are culled for a good reason, and sure there are people who enjoy the culling. As for grey squirrels, I can see nothing going for them at all. Getting rid of them and the reintroduction of reds would be fantastic and attempts are being made to do just that. How do you feel about non native plants, for example Japanese Knotweed in our rivers? Do we say, it's ok, it's here or do we get rid of it? It is possible to get rid of the greys, if everyone did what my neighbour did.
 
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