The GWCT Mink Raft is a low-technology monitor which encourages mink to leave evidence of their presence, in the form of footprints. The raft uses a standardised mixture of clay and sand to record the tracks over a period of 1-2 weeks.
The tracking medium is problem-free and provides unequivocal evidence of mink presence. Once a mink is detected, the raft(s) on which it left its tracks also becomes the best place to set a trap. The commonest result is that the mink is caught next day.
Through a series of practical trials, we established that one raft per km of river gives you multiple opportunities to detect each mink. We have also shown that a single raft left for 2 weeks within the range of a mink has a 50% chance of detecting that mink.
Given more than one raft available per mink and successive check periods, there is only a very small risk of failing to detect a mink that really is present. With this knowledge, rafts can also be used as a reliable indicator of mink absence. That's very important, because the number of mink caught is a poor guide to the success of the control effort. It is the extent to which the system is clear of mink that matters.