2008-03-21 21:52:54 UTC
RSPB et al, Nazi inclined obsession with alien species that has led
to the wholesale slaughter of millions of animals from ruddy ducks, to
rare black rats. From forcing unhealthy populations of red squirrels
together in man made colonies, to over breeding of sea birds causing
starvation due to declining foods. It's one big cock up and it's
costing us the tax payer millions.
Isn't it about time we gave the CONservation hooligans the boot and
put real men in to conservation?
Rats! Cull of mink causes new scourge
IT IS a prime example of the law of unintended consequences. The
high-profile £1.5m campaign to kill mink and save seabirds in the
Western Isles has led to an explosion in the numbers of egg-eating
rats, say Hebridean crofters.
Although conservationists are claiming the rats are no more plentiful,
only bolder, locals believe that the mink were keeping the rats in
Conservationists have been trying to eliminate mink from the islands
after a small number escaped in the 1960s and began breeding and
spreading across the Outer Hebrides. Mink are indiscriminate killers
and attack seabirds, poultry, nests and eggs, killing everything they
Experts believe they have cleared the "Southern Isles" of North Uist,
Benbecula, South Uist and Barra of the predators. But locals believe
that the rats, which were terrified of the mink are now attacking
nests, too, and causing damage around crofts.
Local Donald MacLeod said: "We definitely notice the difference since
they started cracking down on the mink; there are a lot more rats
around and they are a menace. No-one liked the mink very much, but
they did help in keeping the rats down."
But Iain Macleod, who manages the Hebridean Mink Project for Scottish
Natural Heritage, said: "There is no evidence that there are any more
rats than before. What is clear is that the rats are changing their
behaviour. They are coming out more often, and while they do cause
damage to seabirds, they are nothing like as destructive as the mink.
The key way to keep the rats under control is to store feed in places
where the rats cannot get to it."
Mink were introduced to the Western Isles in the 1950s and 1960s in
attempts at commercial farming in Lewis.
Up to 10,000 adult mink are thought to have colonised the islands,
with several hundred in the Uists.
The full article contains 321 words and appears in Scotland On Sunday
newspaper.Last Updated: 01 March 2008 8:50 PM