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[5] In the Moscow Zoo, estrus was observed on 22–26 April, with copulation lasting from 15 minutes to an hour. Weaning takes place at about 10 weeks, when they begin tracking and catching prey. Zoologica Scripta, 33: 481 - 499, Tumanov, Igor L. & Abramov, Alexei V. (2002), Why is the European mink, Mustela lutreola disappearing? At birth, kits weigh about 6.5 grams (0.23 oz), and grow rapidly, trebling their weight 10 days after birth. In general characteristics, the skull is intermediate in shape between that of the Siberian weasel and the European polecat. In the early 20th century, 40–60,000 European minks were caught annually in the Soviet Union, with a record of 75,000 individuals (an estimate which exceeds the modern global European mink population). Following outbreaks of the virus on mink farms in Europe and the United States, Oregon has now reported an … Currently, Romanian mink populations are confined to the Danube Delta. The limbs and tail are slightly darker than the trunk. [7], Competition with the American Mink and disease, Hybridisation and competition with the European Polecat. [1] In Estonia, the European mink population has been successfully re-established on the island of Hiiumaa, and there are plans for repeating the process on the nearby island of Saaremaa. By the 1930s-1950s, the European mink became extinct in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and possibly Bulgaria. Mink facts. However, this reason alone cannot account for the decline in areas where hunting was less intense, such as in Germany. Earlier, the range of distribution of this species encompassed much of the European continent. China accounts for around 40% of mink pelt production, with around 35 million in 2014. They are born blind; the eyes open after 30–31 days. They accompany the mother on hunting expeditions at the age of 56–70 days, and become independent at the age 70–84 days. Mink have proven to be particularly susceptible to the coronavirus. Records of minks in Austria stopped by the late 18th century. This species is somewhat sedentary and confines itself in its burrow for long periods during very cold weather. At 56–70 days they go with their mother on hunting expeditions, and become independent at 70–84 days. Though the presence of the American mink has coincided with the decline of European mink numbers in Belarus and Estonia, the decline of the European mink in some areas preceded the introduction of the American mink by many years, and there are areas in Russia where the American species is absent, though European mink populations in these regions are still declining. Nesting chambers are lined with straw, moss, mouse wool and bird feathers. The decline in mink numbers has also been linked to the destruction of crayfish in Finland during the 1920s-1940s, when the crustaceans were infected with crayfish plague. Populations of this species have suffered a series of commercial and ecological threats. This species thrives in densely-shaded banks in fresh water rivers, creeks and lakes. Nearly 18 million were bred and killed in Denmark alone. The American mink is one of the pillars of the fur industry and is raised in captivity throughout the world. Unlike the European mink, which has white patches on both upper and lower lips, the American mink almost never has white marks on the upper lip. The current range includes an isolated population in northern Spain and western France, which is widely disjunct from the main range in Eastern Europe (Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, central regions of European Russia, the Danube Delta in Romania and northwestern Bulgaria). Diet European Mink are opportunistic predators and they mainly feed on rats, rabbits, birds, fish, frogs and crayfish. During the 20th century, the numbers of European mink … They may also eat insects and vegetation. The size of each territory varies according to the availability of food; in areas with water meadows with little food, the home range is 60–100 hectares (150–250 acres), though it is more usual for territories to be 12–14 hectares (30–35 acres)., IUCN Red List critically endangered species, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2005, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. They are weaned at 10 weeks old and are sexually mature at 10 months old. Over the last 150 years, though, it has severely declined by more than 90% and been extirpated or greatly reduced over most of its former range. The protection of this species is regulated at three levels: [9] It is a fast and agile animal, which swims and dives skilfully. The pelt is dark brownish-chestnut or dark brown with a diffuse broad belt on the back. Adult males measure 365–380 mm (14.4–15.0 in) in body length and have a tail length of 36–42 mm (1.4–1.7 in) (38% of its body length). [20], The European mink is similar to the American mink, but with several important differences. Read More. The length of the hairs on the back and belly differ little, a further adaptation to the European mink's semiaquatic way of life. But it was much larger. White marks can be seen on the chin, throat and chest. European Mink are found in areas of Europe. The European mink is one of the most threatened species in Europe and in France. The male weighs about 1 kg (2.2 lb) and is about 62 cm (24 in) in length. European mink in Russia is extremely low, its distribution in the European part of Russia is fragmentary (Skumatov, 2015). [24] In the Leningrad and Pskov Oblasts, 77.1% of European minks were found to be infected with skrjabingylosis. It primarily feeds on voles, frogs, fish, crayfish and small mammals. The European mink (Mustela lutreola), as one of the most endangered species on the planet, is particularly affected by the degradation of the river ecosystems.This is due to the fact that the mink is a species that needs the natural woodlands and wetlands alongside the rivers during the different stages of … BBC Nature: American Mink 2. European mink reintroduction project, ex-situ, in-situ research with Dr. Elisabeth Peters, Mustela lutreola, Germany. This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 17:19. How to tell the difference. Males are only about 15 inches long, and females top out at a little over one foot! [5] As the European mink is more dependent on wetland habitats than the American species, its decline in Central Europe, Estonia, Finland, Russia, Moldova and Ukraine has been linked to the drainage of small rivers. According to the Animal Diversity Web (ADW) (University of Michigan) resource, the world total populations size of the European mink is less than 30,000 individuals. The European mink prefers wetland areas and small, hard-bedded streams as its habitat. Following outbreaks of the virus on mink farms in Europe and the United States, Oregon has now reported an … The tail is longer in the American species, almost reaching half its body length. The European mink (Mustela lutreola), also known as the Russian mink and Eurasian mink, is a semiaquatic species of mustelid native to Europe. Genetic analyses indicate, rather than being closely related to the American mink, the European mink's closest relative is the European polecat (perhaps due to past hybridization)[3] and the Siberian weasel,[4] being intermediate in form between true polecats and other members of the genus. In the wild, mink are small, discreet, and…. The lifespan of minks is about 3 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity. Mink are small members of the weasel, or Mustelidae, family.Otters, ferrets, martens, badgers, and wolverines are also members of the Mustelidae family, and distantly related to minks. It was also listed as a Endangered species into the National Red Book of Ukraine. White chest markings are much more frequent in this subspecies than in others. For breeders of small, furry European mink like the 74-year-old Dane, the Covid-19 pandemic has been more than just a threat to his health. [11][26] The first captive polecat-mink hybrid was created in 1978 by Soviet zoologist Dr. Dmitry Ternovsky of Novosibirsk. In the wild, mink are small, discreet, and most often nocturnal, and they live in close proximity to water. The European mink inhabited South Ural and Chelyabinsk Region throughout mountain There are two species referred to as "mink": the American mink and the European mink; The mink we have in Britain are not native. Facts Summary: The European Mink (Mustela lutreola) is a species of concern belonging in the species group "mammals" and found in the following area(s): Europe. The European Bison, also called the ‘Wisent’, is the largest land mammal of the continent of Europe.Often confused with the American Bison, the population of the wisents has got dramatically low in the past few decades, which is mainly because of human predation.In 1996, IUCN declared this species as ‘endangered’. The mating season is from February to March. The American mink is native to North America, from Alaska to northeast Canada, and south to Florida and some southern states. (2004). Adult males usually measure more than 42 cm (17 in) long. They rarely use the same den, the female usually staying close to the den, except when a food shortage drives her to find another site. - A review of the process and hypotheses, Finding on the ecology of hybrids between the European mink Mustela lutreola and polecat M.putorius at the Lovat upper reaches, NE Belarus, A study of the hybrids between the European Mink, "Scientists think they can save the European mink—by killing its ruthless rivals", "The Velvet Claw: A Natural History of the Carnivores". The face has no colour pattern, though its upper and lower lips and chin are pure white. The European mink lives in small pockets in parts of Europe, and it is critically endangered. Denmark, Europe's largest exporter of mink pelts, said it will cull millions of the animals bred for their fur after COVID-19 infections were transmitted to their keepers. Minks are semi-aquatic animals, spending some part of their life in water and some on land. A polecat-mink hybrid has a poorly defined facial mask, yellow fur on the ears, grey-yellow underfur and long, dark brown guard hairs. The European mink (Mustela lutreola) is critically endangered and one of the most threatened mammals in Europe. [10] The majority of polecat-mink hybrids have skulls bearing greater similarities to those of polecats than to minks. The European mink ( Mustela lutreola) and the American mink ( Neovison vison) are both valued for their luxurious fur. In their native range, American and European mink live in their respective namesakes. The American mink is one of the pillars of the fur industry and is raised in captivity throughout the world. & DOMINGO-ROURA, X. The next largest European mink fur producers were Poland (7.8 million) and the Netherlands (5.5 million). [5], The winter fur of the European mink is very thick and dense, but not long, and quite loosely fitting. [7], Fossil finds of the European mink are very rare, thus indicating the species is either a relative newcomer to Europe, probably having originated in North America,[8] or a recent speciation caused by hybridization. If it appears incomplete or if you wish to see article references, visit the rest of its contents here. American minks are larger than European minks. The … Once widespread across Europe, the European mink population has undergone a severe decline and now occupies less than 20% of its former range. Even larger European minks weigh less than two pounds. [10], Predators of the European mink include the European polecat, the American mink, the golden eagle, large owls[5] and the red fox. A European mink is a carnivore and opportunistic predator and mainly eats rabbits, rates, birds, fish, crayfish and frogs. European minks reach reproductive maturity at about 1 year. Phylogeny, Evolutionary History and Taxonomy of the Mustelidae based on Sequences of the Cytochrome b Gene and a Complex Repetitive Flanking Region. Most recently, 169 mink were found to have the virus on a … The underfur is light bluish-grey. A litter numbers between two and seven, and usually is about four or five. The failure of the European mink to expand west to Scandinavia coincides with the gap in crayfish distribution. The government plans for European mink conservation in Estonia are provided in the European mink recovery plan for 2010 – 2014. National The European mink is listed on the terrestrial mammal species protected throughout the French territory. [ 4 ] the majority of polecat-mink hybrids have skulls bearing greater similarities to those of polecats than to.! Of a polecat attacking a mink and the American mink are long,! The failure of the genus Mustela one record of a polecat attacking a mink and the Netherlands ( 5.5 )... 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