An invasive species of mink has been eradicated from East Anglia as part of a trial- leading to a recovery in species it preys on, such as the water vole.

Conservationists from the charity Waterlife Recovery Trust have been maintaining a defensive wall of traps to capture mink by luring them into cages using scent from their own anal glands.

The result has been that the region is now free from mink and there has been a revival in species, especially water vole, with Carlton Marshes nature reserve now hosting a 'nationally significant and thriving population'.

READ MORE: Invasive mink 'nearly eradicated' in Suffolk Broads

Conservation charity Suffolk Wildlife Trust has been working with the trust to control the mink, particularly the non-native American species, which poses the biggest threat to the water vole.

A spokesperson for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust said: "At Suffolk Wildlife Trust, we have been coordinating mink control for over 20 years in various schemes, trials and projects - including support of the Waterlife Recovery Trust's ongoing work.

East Anglian Daily Times: There has been a revival in water voles thanks to the decline of the invasive American minkThere has been a revival in water voles thanks to the decline of the invasive American mink (Image: Terry Whittaker)"The trust's collaboration with the Waterlife Recovery Trust and involvement in this trial, is focused on native water vole conservation and habitat restoration.

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"Habitat degradation and pollution play their part in the sad decline of water vole, but the single biggest threat continues to be the non-native American mink. 

"Without this work, there is little doubt native water vole would become extinct in Suffolk.

"However, because of this work, we are now seeing increased signs of water vole, such as at Carlton Marshes nature reserve, where there is now a nationally significant and thriving population."

The American species was introduced to the UK and Ireland during the early 20th century to be farmed for fur, but some of the mink escaped or were released by animal rights activists who did not realise the animals would spread across the country and devour native species.

Mink will prey on almost anything they can catch, including salmon, seabirds, moorhens, kingfishers and water voles.