Standard Operating Procedures for Control of American Mink (Neovison vison)

Northern Ireland Environment Agency

American mink (Neovision vison) are an invasive non-native species (INNS) that were introduced to Northern Ireland for commercial fur farming in the 1950s, the first documented escape occurred in 1961 when 30 mink escaped from a fur farm near Omagh (Deane & O’Gorman, 1969). By 2003, when fur farming was banned, mink had become wildly established throughout Northern Ireland.

EU Regulation on Invasive Alien Species

Some of the core provisions of EU Regulation 1143/2014 which deal with, among other things, bringing into the territory of the Union, keeping, breeding, transporting and placing on the market, species included on the list of invasive alien species of Union concern ( the “Union list” ) come into force on the 3rd August, 2016.

The first “Union list” of 37 species consisting of 23 animals and 14 plants came into force, following the publication of the Commission Implementing Regulation (2016/1141), in the Official Journal of the Union on the 14 July, 2016.

(Since 2016), legislation is being prepared in Ireland to deal with issues, such as penalties for breaches of the Regulation, which are a matter for each Member State

Enquiries on the Regulation should be sent to

The ‘Union list’ comprises species whose potential adverse impacts across the European Union are such that concerted action across Member States is required:

American skunk cabbage Lysichiton americanus
Asiatic tearthumb Persicaria perfoliata (Polygonum perfoliatum)
Curly waterweed Lagarosiphon major
Eastern Baccharis Baccharis halimifolia
Floating pennywort Hydrocotyle ranunculoides
Floating primrose willow Ludwigia peploides
Green cabomba Cabomba caroliniana
Kudzu vine Pueraria lobata
Parrot’s feather Myriophyllum aquaticum
Persian hogweed Heracleum persicum
Sosnowski’s hogweed Heracleum sosnowskyi
Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes
Water primrose Ludwigia grandiflora
Whitetop weed Parthenium hysterophorus

Amur sleeper Perccottus glenii
Asian hornet Vespa velutina
Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis
Coypu Myocastor coypus
Fox squirrel Sciurus niger
Grey squirrel Sciurus carolinensis
Indian house crow Corvus splendens
Marbled crayfish Procambarus spp.
Muntjac deer Muntiacus reevesii
North american bullfrog Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus
Pallas’s squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus
Raccoon Procyon lotor
Red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii
Red-eared terrapin/slider Trachemys scripta elegans
Ruddy duck Oxyura jamaicensis
Sacred ibis Threskiornis aethiopicus
Siberian chipmunk Tamias sibiricus
Signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus
Small Asian mongoose Herpestes javanicus
South American coati Nasua nasua
Spiny-cheek crayfish Orconectes limosus
Topmouth gudgeon Pseudorasbora parva
Virile crayfish Orconectes virilis



NPWS are to finalise legislation for the implementation of the EU IAS Regulation
NPWS are to prepare draft management plans and priority pathway action plans for priority invasive species.

Owenriff Priority Area for Action Desktop Report

Jan 2020


The main pressure in this waterbody is hydromorphology from channelisation, which changing the hydrological and morphological dynamics of the river.

In terms of hydro morphology, there are historic OPW arterial drainage schemes, liaising with the OPW will be required to determine how to restore the waterbodies affected in the Owenriff PAA to their natural habitat. There are also historic land drains leading into the four river waterbodies in the PAA that maybe transporting volumes of sediment to the waterbodies, drain blocking will be required in these cases.

Forestry and peat extraction


Invasive Alien Species (IAS) provide a threat globally to the environment, to native biodiversity, biosecurity, the economy, animal, plant and human health. Recognising these threats, the Water Forum commissioned a scoping study to provide strategic guidance on the management of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Ireland.

The research aimed to provide insight into how IAS establishment and spread might be restricted and what actions are required to improve the management of established IAS.

The research states that many of the most problematic IAS have been introduced to Ireland in the past 20 years and that a significant number of high impact IAS are predicted to arrive in Ireland in the next 10 years resulting in devastating environmental consequences.

The authors highlight the changes in governance and policy that are needed to improve IAS management
on the island of Ireland and to significantly reduce future invasions and potential economic costs.

Report on the management of Invasive Alien Species in Ireland with key policy recommendations

The Water Forum recently commissioned a scoping study to provide strategic guidance on the management of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) in Ireland. The research aimed to provide insight into how IAS establishment and spread might be restricted  and what actions are required to improve the management of established IAS.

The report recommends changes in governance and policy, that has the potential to radically improve IAS management on the island of Ireland and to significantly reduce the forecasted economic costs of treating established IAS on the island.

The report states that many of the most problematic IAS have been introduced to Ireland in the past 20 years and that a significant number of high impact IAS are predicted to arrive in Ireland in the next 10 years resulting in devastating environmental consequences.

Recommendations highlights the need for national IAS legislation coming into force in 2021, which must be implemented, enforced and resourced, preferably by one responsible agency. A key challenge to IAS management is fragmented and uncoordinated action. The research recommends the establishment of a single lead division with overall responsibility for IAS management who would oversee an All-island Strategy for IAS Management and a National Biosecurity Programme.

There is also a need to develop education and awareness programmes with key messages relating to IAS management and the implementation of good biosecurity practice. A range of training courses dedicated to specific stakeholders (Gov. agencies, garden centres, pet shops, retailers) should be delivered.

The full report is available here

The policy recommendations are here

Rhododendron Ponticum: Removal (Groundwork, Ireland)

Groundwork’s focus has been on the removal of the invasive Rhododendron Ponticum from Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry

Other projects have been tackled including rhododendron clearance work in Glenveagh National Park, Co. Donegal and drain blocking on bogs in the midlands of Ireland.

Letter to European Commission regarding Groundwork/NPWS meeting May 2018

Appraisal of Killarney National Park UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Review January 2018

Groundwork appraisal of NPWS submissions to European Commission January 2017

Groundwork Woodland Survey – May 2018

Updated Overview of Groundwork Woods – June 2017

[19/06/2014] – Updated Groundwork Woodland Survey – Summer 2014
[14/01/2014] – Groundwork Woodland Survey – Summer 2013

Rhododendron ponticum: a guide to management on nature conservation sites

This guide is intended for use by ecologists, foresters, managers of nature conservation sites, and those carrying out control ‘on the ground’.

It seeks to provide a detailed summary of the available information about rhododendron which is relevant to its impacts on nature conservation and especially to its management.

The information provided is based on review of published literature and consultation with a wide group of people who have experience of rhododendron and its management.

A feasibility study on the ‘Removal and Management of the invasive species Rhododendron on a landscape level in the West of Ireland’

In Ireland one of the most serious invasive alien species posing a threat to biodiversity is rhododendron

Rhododendron poses one of the biggest threats to peatlands in the West of Ireland and can colonise habitats, causing significant problems unless properly eradicated and removed.

Under Regulation 27, EC (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011, the National Parks and Wildlife Service strives to prevent deterioration of blanket bogs, forests and heaths.

FORUM Connemara’s North Connemara Locally Led Agri-environmental Scheme (NCLLAES) funded by the Dept Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the European Innovation Partnership Programme team surveyed 10,000Ha and found 1,500Ha to be affected by invasive species (mostly rhododendron). The scheme didn’t have many farmers in the Kylemore area which is possibly the most affected area in Northwest Connemara.

In an effort to control this threat the Kylemore Abbey Trust, FORUM Connemara, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Coillte Teo have come together to create a Rhododendron Working Group which is now pursuing the possibility for funding for a major project to tackle the problem in Northwest Connemara.

Previous Rhododendron tenders via eTenders (2015 to 2021)

These tenders are closed, but worth noting that there has been some local and regional tenders for rhododendron in West of Ireland

Rhodo Control Program Mayo
This tender seeks a suitable contractor to run a community led project which aims to develop and demonstrate a rhododendron control programme for the entire Bundorragha Catchment Co Mayo

Laurel Knockma
Request for Tenders by Department of the Housing, Local Government, and Heritage (NPWS) for Cherry Laurel and Rhododendron Clearance at Knockma Wood, Castlehacket, Caherlistrane, Co. Galway.

Rhodo Connemara NPRequest for Tenders by the Department of the Housing, Local Government, and Heritage (NPWS) for Rhododendron Clearance at Connemara National Park, Letterfrack, Co. Galway.


Invasive conifer and rhododendron removal from the Slieve Beagh ASSI for the CANN project

DHLGH – NPWS – Rhododendron Connemara National Park


Rhododendron Eradication KNPRhododendron Eradication Management Killarney National Park

Rhododendron Ponticum FW
Application for Inclusion on the National Parks and Wildlife Service Multi-Supplier Framework Agreement for the Provision of Maintenance and/or Eradication of Rhododendron Ponticum

RFT Rhododendron Killarney NPRFT for Provision of Rhododendron Eradication at Killarney National Park

Impact of Mink on Irish Rivers

A review of mink predation and control for Ireland

Click to access IWM40.pdf

Mink farmers representatives to Oireachtas Committee

Click to access 2021-07-15_opening-statement-sven-sjoholm-et-al_en.pdf

Mink farms to get €4m to €8m compensation from State 

Minister for Agriculture has brought memo to Cabinet to prohibit fur farming

Why trapping a mink could help save curlews and corncrakes

Mink Control (BASC Guide)

Click to access Mink-Control-Document-BASC.pdf

Buying and using mink traps