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Mink control ‘focused, temporary and local’

IN response to Philip Kiernan’s letter (May 19) about the project that the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is running to control some mink and other predators, I would like to correct a number of errors.

Mr Kiernan has been misled by some inaccurate reportage in the papers. There is no intention to control or eradicate mink on a national scale – this would be prohibitively expensive and would probably fail.

We hope to control a small number of mink around the nests of rare birds (such as corncrakes and terns) for the few months when they are breeding. It is focused, temporary and local. It is also being conducted in as humane a manner as possible.

The project cost is not €1 million but around 5% of that figure. The figures Mr Kieran quotes are from an academic report submitted to and published by NPWS but never adopted as policy.

The role of mink farms is historical and the few modern ones are irrelevant; the escapes happened 50 years ago and the species is now established in the wild. The genie is out of the bottle and can’t be put back. We can, however, protect some of our rare birds’ nests.

Pat Warner

Project Manager

National Parks and Wildlife Service

Custom House

Dublin 1

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