Abundance and habitat preferences of the southernmost population of mink: implications for managing a recent island invasion

Elke Schüttler, Jose Ibarra, Bernd Gruber, Ricardo Rozzi, Kurt Jax

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Since 2001 invasive American mink has been known to populate Navarino Island, an island located in the pristine wilderness of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile, lacking native carnivorous mammals. As requested by scientists and managers, our study aims at understanding the population ecology of mink in order to respond to conservation concerns. We studied the abundance of mink in different semi-aquatic habitats using live trapping (n = 1,320 trap nights) and sign surveys (n = 68 sites). With generalized linear models we evaluated mink abundance in relation to small-scale habitat features including habitats engineered by invasive beavers (Castor canadensis). Mink have colonized the entire island and signs were found in 79% of the surveys in all types of semiaquatic habitats. Yet, relative population abundance (0.75 mink/km of coastline) was still below densities measured in other invaded or native areas. The habitat model accuracies indicated that mink were generally less specific in habitat use, probably due to the missing imitations normally imposed by predators or competitors. The selected models predicted that mink prefer to use shrubland instead of open habitat, coastal areas with heterogeneous shores instead of flat beaches, and interestingly, that mink avoid habitats strongly modified by beavers. Our results indicate need for immediate mink control on Navarino Island. For this future management we suggest that rocky coastal shores should be considered as priority sites deserving special conservation efforts. Further research is needed with respect to the immigration of mink from adjacent islands and to examine facilitating or hampering relationships between the different invasive species present, especially if integrative management is sought.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)725-743
    Number of pages19
    JournalBiodiversity and Conservation
    Volume19
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Fingerprint

    mink
    habitat preferences
    habitat selection
    habitat
    habitats
    Castoridae
    imitation
    population ecology
    shrubland
    habitat use
    invasive species
    Castor canadensis
    immigration
    trapping
    wilderness
    Neovison vison
    beach
    mammal
    aquatic habitat
    predator

    Cite this

    @article{930f1767809643c19b5392a5d0f2e5f4,
    title = "Abundance and habitat preferences of the southernmost population of mink: implications for managing a recent island invasion",
    abstract = "Since 2001 invasive American mink has been known to populate Navarino Island, an island located in the pristine wilderness of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile, lacking native carnivorous mammals. As requested by scientists and managers, our study aims at understanding the population ecology of mink in order to respond to conservation concerns. We studied the abundance of mink in different semi-aquatic habitats using live trapping (n = 1,320 trap nights) and sign surveys (n = 68 sites). With generalized linear models we evaluated mink abundance in relation to small-scale habitat features including habitats engineered by invasive beavers (Castor canadensis). Mink have colonized the entire island and signs were found in 79{\%} of the surveys in all types of semiaquatic habitats. Yet, relative population abundance (0.75 mink/km of coastline) was still below densities measured in other invaded or native areas. The habitat model accuracies indicated that mink were generally less specific in habitat use, probably due to the missing imitations normally imposed by predators or competitors. The selected models predicted that mink prefer to use shrubland instead of open habitat, coastal areas with heterogeneous shores instead of flat beaches, and interestingly, that mink avoid habitats strongly modified by beavers. Our results indicate need for immediate mink control on Navarino Island. For this future management we suggest that rocky coastal shores should be considered as priority sites deserving special conservation efforts. Further research is needed with respect to the immigration of mink from adjacent islands and to examine facilitating or hampering relationships between the different invasive species present, especially if integrative management is sought.",
    keywords = "Capture-mark-recapture, Castor canadensis, Chile, Exotic species, Management, Neovison vison, Population size, Sign surveys, Trapping, Wetlands.",
    author = "Elke Sch{\"u}ttler and Jose Ibarra and Bernd Gruber and Ricardo Rozzi and Kurt Jax",
    year = "2010",
    doi = "10.1007/s10531-009-9730-3",
    language = "English",
    volume = "19",
    pages = "725--743",
    journal = "Biodiversity and Conservation",
    issn = "0960-3115",
    publisher = "Springer",

    }

    Abundance and habitat preferences of the southernmost population of mink: implications for managing a recent island invasion. / Schüttler, Elke; Ibarra, Jose; Gruber, Bernd; Rozzi, Ricardo; Jax, Kurt.

    In: Biodiversity and Conservation, Vol. 19, 2010, p. 725-743.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Abundance and habitat preferences of the southernmost population of mink: implications for managing a recent island invasion

    AU - Schüttler, Elke

    AU - Ibarra, Jose

    AU - Gruber, Bernd

    AU - Rozzi, Ricardo

    AU - Jax, Kurt

    PY - 2010

    Y1 - 2010

    N2 - Since 2001 invasive American mink has been known to populate Navarino Island, an island located in the pristine wilderness of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile, lacking native carnivorous mammals. As requested by scientists and managers, our study aims at understanding the population ecology of mink in order to respond to conservation concerns. We studied the abundance of mink in different semi-aquatic habitats using live trapping (n = 1,320 trap nights) and sign surveys (n = 68 sites). With generalized linear models we evaluated mink abundance in relation to small-scale habitat features including habitats engineered by invasive beavers (Castor canadensis). Mink have colonized the entire island and signs were found in 79% of the surveys in all types of semiaquatic habitats. Yet, relative population abundance (0.75 mink/km of coastline) was still below densities measured in other invaded or native areas. The habitat model accuracies indicated that mink were generally less specific in habitat use, probably due to the missing imitations normally imposed by predators or competitors. The selected models predicted that mink prefer to use shrubland instead of open habitat, coastal areas with heterogeneous shores instead of flat beaches, and interestingly, that mink avoid habitats strongly modified by beavers. Our results indicate need for immediate mink control on Navarino Island. For this future management we suggest that rocky coastal shores should be considered as priority sites deserving special conservation efforts. Further research is needed with respect to the immigration of mink from adjacent islands and to examine facilitating or hampering relationships between the different invasive species present, especially if integrative management is sought.

    AB - Since 2001 invasive American mink has been known to populate Navarino Island, an island located in the pristine wilderness of the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve, Chile, lacking native carnivorous mammals. As requested by scientists and managers, our study aims at understanding the population ecology of mink in order to respond to conservation concerns. We studied the abundance of mink in different semi-aquatic habitats using live trapping (n = 1,320 trap nights) and sign surveys (n = 68 sites). With generalized linear models we evaluated mink abundance in relation to small-scale habitat features including habitats engineered by invasive beavers (Castor canadensis). Mink have colonized the entire island and signs were found in 79% of the surveys in all types of semiaquatic habitats. Yet, relative population abundance (0.75 mink/km of coastline) was still below densities measured in other invaded or native areas. The habitat model accuracies indicated that mink were generally less specific in habitat use, probably due to the missing imitations normally imposed by predators or competitors. The selected models predicted that mink prefer to use shrubland instead of open habitat, coastal areas with heterogeneous shores instead of flat beaches, and interestingly, that mink avoid habitats strongly modified by beavers. Our results indicate need for immediate mink control on Navarino Island. For this future management we suggest that rocky coastal shores should be considered as priority sites deserving special conservation efforts. Further research is needed with respect to the immigration of mink from adjacent islands and to examine facilitating or hampering relationships between the different invasive species present, especially if integrative management is sought.

    KW - Capture-mark-recapture

    KW - Castor canadensis

    KW - Chile

    KW - Exotic species

    KW - Management

    KW - Neovison vison

    KW - Population size

    KW - Sign surveys

    KW - Trapping

    KW - Wetlands.

    U2 - 10.1007/s10531-009-9730-3

    DO - 10.1007/s10531-009-9730-3

    M3 - Article

    VL - 19

    SP - 725

    EP - 743

    JO - Biodiversity and Conservation

    JF - Biodiversity and Conservation

    SN - 0960-3115

    ER -