How It Works

How Everything Works

We have developed a digital platform to efficiently bring together all mink-related data that volunteers collect.  What’s more, using high-tech software, the volunteers can receive instant, up-to-date feedback in return.

 How data is collected – Rafts

A Raft

 The Scottish Mink Initiative provides volunteers with rafts to monitor American mink. Mink rafts are a simple, cheap, low-tech device that float on rivers, lochs, burns and ditches and are monitored by volunteers who regularly check the clay pad beneath the tunnel for American mink footprints.

 Please click here for more information on rafts

 How raft data is logged – MinkApp

Raft check

The MinkApp system is a web-based tool that allows volunteers to log the data they collect about signs of American mink and other animals. The MinkApp tool checks this data is fully complete and then informs the correct mink control contact for that volunteers area and enters the data into the database.

 Volunteer feedback

This technology platform helps to keep the Scottish Mink Initiative a world leading project byNLG 1 allowing volunteers to submit American mink related data and receive instant personalised feedback about the progress of the project.  Large amounts of data are collected by the volunteers, and a computing technique known as Natural Language Generation allows feedback to be quickly and effectively generated.  The technique also enriches this data with seasonal information and mink ecology to provide meaningful and helpful information for volunteers.  Upon a record submission, a volunteer can choose what he or she would like to know more about: captures; sightings; own recording history; or mink ecology.  Additionally, the volunteer can select a geographical scale so that more can be found out about mink on the local river, catchment or nationally.