Mammals of Kingston: Mink along the Thames and Hogsmill rivers.

Mink are seen dispersing at this time of year.  The River Mole is unfortunately a reservoir for this species from where they move up the Thames and onto the Hogsmill.

Mink are known to be breeding in the borough, possibly at more than one location. It is regularly seen swimming around Raven’s Ait, usually at dusk. They have been  seen under the bridge at Charter Quay since its construction.

Rivers must be mink-free for two years before translocation of water voles is permitted; as this species is considered a voracious predator of the water vole.


Nick with a mink skin

This is a mink skin which gives a good indication of size of the animal. Mink footprint traps have been installed along local waterways. They have a clay base in order to look for footprints which are indicative of their presence.

There have been a number of sightings recently some of along the Hogsmill and Thames:


  • The path at Hogsmill O.S. is being improved by the Lower Moles and two of the volunteers saw a mink in the Hogsmill close to the A3.
  • I saw Martin B. this afternoon who mentioned seeing a mink  along the Portsmouth Road  (close to a breeding site) this morning at 11a.m. The animal moved without paying any regard to  pedestrians along the river.
Mink, Villiers Road M. Neky.
  • Last week a mink was recorded as a 'small otter' at the Clattern Bridge by a member of the public. 
  • The mink in the photograph was seen marking its territory in daylight along the Hogsmill at Villiers Road. There are reports of some becoming habituated to people feeding them.
Although there are no verified sightings of otters  along the River Thames (recent anecdotal records usually pertain to harbour seals or mink) there have been sightings at the margins along the ‘out of borough’ tributaries. For this reason, sightings are dependent on survey effort and an Otter Bridge Blitz resurvey of the National Otter Survey 2009-10 took place along the river Mole and Wey (5.4.14). 

There is a system by which records are validated when reporting animals. In birds this is especially rigorous as a description is required. With mammals it is useful to use the mammal society recording form recording form or the Kent Mammal Group have a sophisticated mammal records scheme see here record forms

If you want to read more about the Mammals of Kingston see a write up here: Mammals-of-Kingston-upon-Thames-A. FURE 2017.pdf If you want to read more about the local mink population -:search 'Mink' in the box at the top left hand side.


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