The species of mink we have in Ireland is the American mink and, as its name suggests, it doesn’t belong here.
The first known escape/release of mink into the wild in Ireland was from a fur farm in county Tyrone in 1961, where it’s thought the animals may have been surreptitiously released by their owners when their business failed.
Since then mink escaping from other fur farms (and, more often, mink deliberately released by moronic animal rights activists) have allowed the species to spread throughout the country.
It’s unclear just how much of an effect these voracious little predators have had on our native wildlife, but, unlike our native predators (foxes, stoats and pine marten), mink are excellent swimmers and recently there have been reports that they have even begun to colonise our offshore islands. Obviously the islands that surround our coast are home to the majority of our sea birds, all of which nest on the ground. Any mink that reaches these islands will be like a fat kid let loose in a sweet shop!
It’s such a shame these cute little furballs are so talented when it comes to killing *