Whatever happened to all those minks released in the UK several ago? Are they all dead?

Re this story, what happened over time?

Apparently it’s still an ongoing, if low-key, problem; Link, with sidebar links to related stories.

The BBC, in Duck Duck Goose’s link, misused the word “decimated.” Decimated means killing one tenth of a given group. According to the figures they gave, the minks are killing more than 90% of the birds studied. That’s much worse than decimated.

Mink have also been blamed for killing off most of our water voles. I read somewhere that their numbers have declined by something like 90% because of attacks by released mink

Don’t get the original use of the word mixed up with its proper use now. I haven’t looked up the definition in every dictionary but in this one the original usage is now definition #3. The BBC used it correctly.

I’ll accept the broader definition, but I feel the word is not strong enough for a 90% decline. That’s near-extinction, that’s massacre.

Definitions of “decimated” aside…if you read both links, I’m not sure Duck Duck Goose’s linked story is about the same issue.

The original story of the “release” by activists cited in Snopes contains this passage:

and, revealingly, this one:

Yet the story about current mink problems refers to the Hebridean Mink Project (although it’s misspelled “Hedridean”), and the picture caption refers to minks as “not native to the islands”.

It also contains the passage:

Without getting into defending the well-publicized release (purportedly by animal-rights activists, which seems logical, although no one has claimed “credit”), it seems likely to me that the mink release on the south coast of England is not the source of the minks ravaging the Scottish Hebrides. Could those minks have migrated to the islands?

Minks escaped from the original fur trade in the 50s and 60s seem a likelier source.

I can’t say if any of the minks from the release (or their descendants) are still a problem in the south of England or elsewhere. And I’m not defending the release itself.

But animal activists get painted with a pretty broad brush sometimes, and although I assume this was just a quick search and not a frame job, it rubs me the wrong way to see activists take the blame for something that apparently was an industry-created problem.

Let’s try to stick to the facts in the fight against ignorance.


Another fur-farm escapee was the Coypu They became pests in the British countryside . Their burrows undermined river banks and they could cause damage to young cereal crops. Unlike the mink these animals have now been eradicated. I wish getting rid of mink was as easy.