Eradication of an Invasive Alien Predator through Empowering Community Conservation Stakeholders

Impact: Health and Wellbeing

Description of impact

The eradication of alien invasive species is a conservation priority, but is rarely attempted in mainland areas given the logistical and economic challenges of species control over large areas. Any effective control programme must be underpinned by robust scientific understanding of the population ecology of the target species to ensure control is appropriately focussed and directed, and that efforts are not swamped by compensatory dispersal from neighbouring regions.

A University of Aberdeen study of water vole population ecology recognised sharp declines in numbers and identified the invasive, predatory American mink as a primary driver of population extinction. The world's largest mainland species eradication programme was then put in place by Aberdeen, involving many hundreds of volunteers. It has successfully removed breeding mink from over 10,000 km2 of Scotland and secured the future of an iconic symbol of natural heritage. This conservation success story is now used as a template for the management of invasive mink in other eradication initiatives in Scotland and internationally.

The research thereby impacted the conservation of natural resources and policy and planning of management.
Impact statusImpact Completed (Open)
Category of impactHealth and Wellbeing