Wednesday, 11 June 2014
A Sad Goodbye - a Colony Wiped Out by Mink
The wildlife photographer Richard Steel http://wildlifephotographic.blogspot.co.uk/ has been following a colony of water voles at Acton, Cheshire, and taking the most wonderful photographs like the ones above. But he contacted me a few days ago to say that all the water voles are now gone. He was worried at the end of last year about the presence of mink, and sure enough, this year the colony had been wiped out. He'd found mink scat, and seen a dead moorhen in the water. Tellingly, there were no ducklings on that stretch of canal either. Acton Marina had been home to a strong and busy population of animals, but now there's nothing left at all.
It is so important that we trap and kill mink when we know they're about. To do nothing is to walk away whistling from a man-made ecological disaster, and to sign the water voles' death warrant. All we can do from this incident is learn a lesson.
You can see more of Richard's heartbreakingly beautiful photographs here: http://wildlifephotographic.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=vole