Crayfish trap kills endangered water vole

ILLEGAL crayfish catchers have been blamed after a critically-endangered water vole was found drowned in one of their traps.

The trap was discovered in the River Mimram, just under the surface of the water, south of Marden Hill at a spot where a water vole had been seen swimming across the river earlier this year.

The trap was found by a fisherman from the Tewin Flyfishing Club.

The Environment Agency warned that people risk prosecution if they trap crayfish without a licence or cause harm to protected species.

Water voles are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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Those breaching the act can be jailed for up to six months or fined �5,000.

Water voles’ population has plummeted by around 95 per cent since the 1960s.

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Fisherman Chris Mungovan, secretary of Tewin Flyfishing Club, who removed the trap, said: “Inconsiderate people have placed an illegal trap with no regard for wildlife, which has resulted in the death of a water vole – a rare and protected species.

“Our club will always support the police and the Environment Agency to prosecute illegal activities on the River Mimram.”

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