Edmund Rice Primary School title_pwork.gif (1797 bytes)
Our School
Our Town
Meet the Staff
Blessed Edmund Rice
American Friends
Stellar Project
Our Tayto Website
Our visit to Microsoft
Pupils Workoff_sport.gif (1037 bytes)

What's New

American Mink (Minc Mheiriceanách) --:
The American mink is from North America but has settled in the wild in Ireland, having escaped from mink farms all over the country.   The mink is a small mammal with a long body and short legs. Minks weigh up to 1 kilogram. They can grow to about 50 or 65 centimetres in length. Wild minks have brown fur. There are two kinds of minks; one is the European and the other is the North American mink. The European mink is a bit smaller than the North American mink.  Minks live near rivers, streams and lakes. They hunt in water and on land. Minks were first brought to Ireland from North America for breeding in fur farms about 40 years ago. By the late 1960’s there were over 20 mink farms in Ireland, scattered throughout the country. Some of these captive mink escaped into the wild and became feral or wild. 

Female minks give birth in the month of April, usually and have between four to six babies at a time. They give birth in the spring. The nest or lair can be found in hollow trees under tree roots, under rocks or in old nests. By the end of their first summer, the young can feed themselves, and after 12 months they have established their hunting territories and they can reproduce their own family. Minks rarely live beyond three years. The fur of female minks, though smaller than those of males, often is more valuable, because they are less coarse. The mink is a good swimmer and spends much of its time in rivers. It lives close to fresh water. It is a very good hunter and climbs well.

American mink are raised in captivity on mink farms in many parts of the world. In northern Europe these have escaped to established wild American mink populations that have nearly caused the extinction of the European mink. The mink causes a lot of trouble to farmers who keep hens, as they often attack hen houses at night. They also eat a lot of young duck or other water birds.

Owen Whitehouse