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Durham e-Theses
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An investigation of the spring and summer diet of feral mink (Mustela Vison Schreber) in Riparian and coastal habitats

Rosser, A. M. (1981) An investigation of the spring and summer diet of feral mink (Mustela Vison Schreber) in Riparian and coastal habitats. Masters thesis, Durham University.



A total of 375 mink scats were collected from two riparian areas in Northumberland and a coastal site in Galloway during the period from April to July in order to investigate the composition of spring and summer feeding of mink. In the riparian habitat, the initial order of importance was:- fish, mammal, bird and amphibian; during the summer, though, the mammal group doubled in importance. At Galloway, a temporal variation in the diet was indicated with lagomorph increasing in importance whilst fish and crab decreased. It was postulated that whilst the riparian diet was largely determined by prey availability coupled to some extent with preference for particular species the variation in the coastal diet may have been due to the varying requirements of a female and kits. The radio-tracking of a juvenile male highlighted the unreliability of using scats and tracks as indicators of mink activity. The tagged animal exhibited a mainly diurnal activity pattern with much exploratory behaviour^ and it was suggested that the former may have been the result of maternal influence whilst the latter indicated attempts at territory establishment or the initiation of dispersion. There was apparently no competition between mink and otter in the riparian habitat; but it is a distinct possibility in the coastal habitat and merits further investigation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Science
Thesis Date:1981
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Jul 2013 14:42

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