Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (612)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

612. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the detail of efforts being made to eradicate the American mink from offshore islands under the protection of the State, in particular the Blasket Islands, County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21329/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department’s strategy is to prioritise the protection of the nesting sites of rare and threatened bird species, including vulnerable seabirds, waders and terns, corncrake, and grey partridge, from a range of predators, including mink. Accordingly, my Department carries out predator control programmes on land it owns or manages and this includes mink where the need is identified.

Following observation of bird mortality on Great Blasket Island, in 2014 my Department, commenced a programme of trapping of American Mink on Great Blasket. Over a three year period to 2016, some 48 mink were captured. The last 3 occasions on which traps were set and inspected, no mink were found. This suggests that the population control measure has been relatively successful. Traps are due be set again on the island shortly.