[21] The European mink's skull is much less specialised than the American species' in the direction of carnivory, bearing more infantile features, such as a weaker dentition and less strongly developed projections. In general characteristics, the skull is intermediate in shape between that of the Siberian weasel and the European polecat. It was also listed as a Endangered species into the National Red Book of Ukraine. Mustela lutreola. Once widespread across Europe, the European mink population has undergone a severe decline and now occupies less than 20% of its former range. The male weighs about 1 kg (2.2 lb) and is about 62 cm (24 in) in length. [22] The European mink is reportedly less efficient than the American species underwater. The failure of the European mink to expand west to Scandinavia coincides with the gap in crayfish distribution. American mink has also been introduced in South America, parts of Europe, and portions of Asia. It is able to run along stream beds, and stay underwater for one to two minutes. This species thrives in densely-shaded banks in fresh water rivers, creeks and lakes. Overall, the skull is less specialized for carnivory than that of polecats and the American mink. [5], During the mating season, the sexual organs of the female enlarge greatly and become pinkish-lilac in colour, which is in contrast with the female American mink, whose organs do not change. The American mink is less dependent on wetland habitats than the European mink and is 20-40% larger. During the winter, their diets overlap more with those of polecats, and will eat a larger proportion of rodents than in the summer, though they still rely heavily on frogs and rarely scavenge ungulate carcasses as the polecat does. The American mink is native to North America, from Alaska to northeast Canada, and south to Florida and some southern states. These documents are helpful if you want to understand WelFur better. European minks are more closely related to polecats (which are a type of skunk) rather than to American minks. The American mink is one of the pillars of the fur industry and is raised in captivity throughout the world. [7], The European mink was historically hunted extensively, particularly in Russia, where in some districts, the decline prompted a temporary ban on mink hunting to let the population recover. minor (Erxleben, 1777) Their numbers in Moldova began to drop very quickly in the 1930s, with the last known population having been confined to the lower course of the River Prut on the Romanian border by the late 1980s. The mink is also vulnerable to pulmonary filariasis, krenzomatiasis and skrjabingylosis. Following outbreaks of the virus on mink farms in Europe and the United States, Oregon has now reported an … In European Russia, the European mink was common and widespread in the early 20th century, but began to decline during the 1950s-1970s. During the 20th century, mink numbers declined all throughout their range, the reasons for which having been hypothesised to be due to a combination of factors, including climate change, competition with (as well as diseases spread by) the introduced American mink, habitat destruction, declines in crayfish numbers and hybridisation with the European polecat. [26] Such hybridisation is very rare in the wild, and typically only occurs where European minks are declining. The American mink is one of the pillars of the fur industry and is raised in captivity throughout the world. European Mink are found in areas of Europe. During the 20th century, the numbers of European mink … Many people will remember these dramatic events for the sheer numbers of mink involved. 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. In particularly dark individuals, a dark, broad dorsal belt is present. They have dark brown or black fur. The decline of European mink numbers in Ukraine began in the late 1950s, with now only a few small and isolated populations being reported in the upper courses of the Ukrainian Carpathian rivers. Mink facts. In the wild, mink are small, discreet, and most often nocturnal, and they live in close proximity to water. The European mink (Mustela lutreola) is critically endangered and one of the most threatened mammals in Europe. The European mink (Mustela lutreola), also known as the Russian mink and Eurasian mink, is a semiaquatic species of mustelid native to Europe. Because of this, there are farms that raise minks to harvest their fur.Additional resources 1. [11] Hybrids can swim well like minks and burrow for food like polecats. [5] It primarily feeds on voles, frogs, fish, crustaceans and insects. 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. Adult males usually measure more than 42 cm (17 in) long. The European mink is rarely found more than 328 feet (100 m) away from fresh water, according to IUCN.The mink's fur is very valuable around the world. In Lithuania, the last specimens were caught in 1978–79. Zoologica Scripta, 33: 481 - 499, Tumanov, Igor L. & Abramov, Alexei V. (2002), Why is the European mink, Mustela lutreola disappearing? The European mink has a large, broad head with short ears. MARMI, J., LÓPEZ-GIRÁLDEZ, J.F. 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. 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). & DOMINGO-ROURA, X. The core of their range was in the Tver Region, though they began to decline there by the 1990s, which was worsened by a colonisation of the area by the American mink. It is similar in colour to the American mink, but is slightly smaller and has a less specialized skull. Fur colour is evenly distributed over the whole body, though in a few cases, the belly is a bit lighter than the upper parts. In Romania, 10,000 minks were caught annually around 1960. The huge change in its numbers and distribution means it is one of the most endangered mammals of Europe and the world. The overall pelage is long, compact and silky. 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. The ends of the limbs are often white. Mink infections have been found in Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Lithuania and the United States. Creature Profile. [26] Studies on the behavioural ecology of free-ranging polecat-mink hybrids in the upper reaches of the Lovat River indicate the hybrids will stray from aquatic habitats more readily than pure minks, and will tolerate both parent species entering their territories, though the hybrid's larger size (especially the male's) may deter intrusion. The mink is night-active, an excellent swimmer and prefers living alone outside the mating season. The American mink is larger and more adaptable than the European mink. European mink were widespread a century ago, living along rivers and streams and preying on voles, amphibians, crayfish, and fish. The next largest European mink fur producers were Poland (7.8 million) and the Netherlands (5.5 million). The European mink (Mustela lutreola) is a semi-aquatic mustalid that is somewhat small in size: smaller than a marten and larger than a weasel. The European mink's daily food requirement is 140–180 grams (4.9–6.3 oz). Males measure 373–430 mm (14.7–16.9 in) in body length, while females measure 352–400 mm (13.9–15.7 in). 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. Overall, currently European minks are classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List and their numbers today are decreasing. The length of the hairs on the back and belly differ little, a further adaptation to the European mink's semiaquatic way of life. The government plans for European mink conservation in Estonia are provided in the European mink recovery plan for 2010 – 2014. Most recently, 169 mink were found to have the virus on a … Occasionally, colour mutations such as albinos and white spots throughout the pelage occur. The limbs are short, with relatively well-developed membranes between the digits, particularly on the hind feet. European The European mink is listed as a priority species of Community interest in Annex II of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. Mink have webbed feet and fur that is covered with an oily substance which prevents its skin from being soaked. A large-sized subspecies, it has quite long, but sparse and coarse pelage and less compact underfur. The American mink has been farmed around the world for its fur. In Europe, the Netherlands brought forward plans to shut down the mink … The next largest European mink fur producers were Poland (7.8 million) and the Netherlands (5.5 million). In Finland, annual mink catches reached 3000 specimens in the 1920s. A polecat-mink hybrid has a poorly defined facial mask, yellow fur on the ears, grey-yellow underfur and long, dark brown guard hairs. [7], The decline of European crayfish has been proposed as a factor in the drop in mink numbers, as minks are notably absent in the eastern side of the Urals, where crayfish are also absent. [19] When swimming, it paddles with both its front and back limbs simultaneously. However, compared to its close relative, the Siberian weasel, the mink is more compact and less thinly built, thus approaching ferrets and European polecats in build. The underfur is light bluish-grey. 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). Diet consists mostly of frogs and fish, likes to keep a low profile near forest rivers and ditches. Family: Mustelidae. European Mink on The IUCN Red List site -, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_mink, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/14018/0. Read More. 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’. They may also eat insects and vegetation. Differences between its diet and that of the American mink are small. [10] The majority of polecat-mink hybrids have skulls bearing greater similarities to those of polecats than to minks. National The European mink is listed on the terrestrial mammal species protected throughout the French territory. In Latvia, the European mink was thought to be extinct for years, until a specimen was captured in 1992. China accounts for around 40% of mink pelt production, with around 35 million in … Despite of this facts the European mink still belongs to the species for which hunting is allowed. [18] Overall weight is 550–800 grams (1.21–1.76 lb). Populations of this species have suffered a series of commercial and ecological threats. The lactation period lasts 2.0 to 2.5 months, though the kits eat solid food after 20–25 days. [1] European mink numbers began to shrink during the 19th century, with the species rapidly becoming extinct in some parts of Central Europe. The fur is normally a very dark brown with a small band of white around the mouth and sometimes on the throat; this marking can assist in identification but it is by no means certain. The underfur is particularly dense compared with that of more land-based members of the genus Mustela. Furthermore, all mink species are susceptible to Aleutian disease, which causes persistent infection, is highly contagious and often is lethal. White marks can be seen on the chin, throat and chest. [24] In the Leningrad and Pskov Oblasts, 77.1% of European minks were found to be infected with skrjabingylosis. They are very difficult to tame and breed, as males are sterile, though females are fertile. 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. The impact of feral American minks on European mink populations has been explained through the competitive exclusion principle and because the American mink reproduces a month earlier than the European species, and matings between male American minks and female European minks result in the embryos being reabsorbed. The European mink ( Mustela lutreola) and the American mink ( Neovison vison) are both valued for their luxurious fur. Nesting chambers are lined with straw, moss, mouse wool and bird feathers. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=European_mink&oldid=993072267, IUCN Red List critically endangered species, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2005, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. It occurs from sea level to 1,120 m (1,220 yd). 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 decline of the European mink in Estonia and Belarus was rapid during the 1980s, with only a few small, fragmented populations in the northeastern regions of both countries being reported in the 1990s. Diet European Mink are opportunistic predators and they mainly feed on rats, rabbits, birds, fish, frogs and crayfish. However, this reason alone cannot account for the decline in areas where hunting was less intense, such as in Germany. Along shorelines, the length of a home range varies from 250–2,000 m (270–2,190 yd), with a width of 50–60 m (55–66 yd). [5], The winter fur of the European mink is very thick and dense, but not long, and quite loosely fitting. The … The European mink has apparently never existed in the British Isles. European mink Mustela lutreola. 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. This article is only an excerpt. [6], The European mink is listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered due to an ongoing reduction in numbers, having been calculated as declining more than 50% over the past three generations and expected to decline at a rate exceeding 80% over the next three generations. Breeding After a gestation period of 35 - 70 days, 2 - 7 young are born in a den. A litter numbers between two and seven, and usually is about four or five. Gestation is about 35-72 days, and births occur in April and May. varina (Matschie, 1912), The European mink is a typical representative of the genus Mustela, having a greatly elongated body with short limbs. According to the IUCN Red List, the Russian population of European mink has been estimated at about 20,000 individuals; Spain holds near 500 individuals; in Romania - 1,000-1,500 individuals; Estonia - fewer than 100 individuals on Hiiumaa Island. The average litter consists of three to seven kits. It is classified as « critically endangered » according to the IUCN’s (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of threatened species. Males are only about 15 inches long, and females top out at a little over one foot! The guard hairs are quite coarse and lustrous, with very wide contour hairs which are flat in the middle, as is typical in aquatic mammals. glogeri (Matschie, 1912) If it appears incomplete or if you wish to see article references, visit the rest of its contents here. In France and Spain, an isolated range occurs, extending from Brittany to northern Spain. Fairly large, the males attain the peak sizes known for European polecats (weighing 1,120–1,746 g (2.469–3.849 lb) and measuring 41–47 cm (16–19 in) in length), and females are much larger than female European minks (weighing 742 g (1.636 lb) and measuring 37 cm (15 in) in length). Mink is covered with soft fur that is usually black or dark brown in color. An individual will use a permanent burrow as well as temporary shelters, the permanent one used all year round except during floods, being 6–10 m from the edge of the water. They accompany the mother on hunting expeditions at the age of 56–70 days, and become independent at the age 70–84 days. EUROOPA NAARITS ЕВРОПЕЙСКАЯ НОРКА VESIKKO. [23] It is more sedentary than the American mink, and will confine itself for long periods in its burrow in very cold weather. 2. 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’. This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 17:19. fulva (Kerr, 1792) [9] It is a fast and agile animal, which swims and dives skilfully. Also, competition with the polecat has greatly increased, due to landscape change favouring the polecat. Interesting Mink Facts: Mink can reach 15 to 28 inches in length and weigh between 16 and 56 ounces. Although land improvement and river dredging certainly resulted in population decreases and fragmentation, in areas which still maintain suitable river ecosystems, such as Poland, Hungary, the former Czechoslovakia, Finland and Russia, the decline preceded the change in wetland habitats, and may have been caused by extensive agricultural development. The European mink (Mustela lutreola) is a critically endangered species and one of the most at-risk small mammals in Europe.Loss of habitat, uncontrolled hunting, and, most importantly, the invasion of the American mink, a dominant competitive species, are some of the contributing factors for their disappearance. Minks are semi-aquatic animals, spending some part of their life in water and some on land. Mink are long bodied, dark-coloured, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, otters and ferrets. 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. Another major threat is commercial trapping for the animal’s fur. They may build their own burrows, move into an evacuated Water vole burrow, or live in a crevice among trees roots. The core population of the European mink EEP program in Species Conservation Construction Research Lab at Tallinn Zoo should be increased up to 200 individuals. Skunks are not able to aim their spray, but minks can. The tail tip is black and the underfur is dark bluish-grey. Mink are dark-colored, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals of the genera Neovison and Mustela, and part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, otters and ferrets.There are two extant species referred to as "mink": the American mink and the European mink.The extinct sea mink is related to the American mink but was much larger. [7], Competition with the American Mink and disease, Hybridisation and competition with the European Polecat. White markings may also occur on the lower surface of the neck and chest. 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). [10], Predators of the European mink include the European polecat, the American mink, the golden eagle, large owls[5] and the red fox. Its range was widespread in the 19th century, with a distribution extending from northern Spain in the west to the river Ob (just east of the Urals) in the east, and from the Archangelsk region in the north to the northern Caucasus in the south. characteristics. The mink's coat is coated in oil to repel water.Minks have webbed feet that help them swim.Minks can swim up to 100 feet (30 m) underwater, according ADW. [5], In the early 20th century, northern Europe underwent a warm climatic period which coincided with an expansion of the range of the European polecat. The former is used all year except during floods, and is located no more than 6–10 m (6.6–10.9 yd) from the water's edge. The pelt is dark brownish-chestnut or dark brown with a diffuse broad belt on the back. In Finland, the main decline occurred in the 1920s-1950s and the species was thought to be extinct in the 1970s, though a few specimens were reported in the 1990s. Globally, during the 2013/14 fur auction season, 87.2 million mink pelts were produced at a value of over 3.7 billion Euros. Cool Facts: European Minks are closely related to the European Pole Cats and Siberian Weasels; They are declining steadily in their native range. It is associated with freshwater habitat.European Mink is found in the Palearctic.It is a solitary mammalivore.Individuals are known to live for 120 months and can grow to 566.4400000000001 g. But it was much larger. European minks are solitary wanderers, with large home ranges as large as 15 kilometers of river. (2004). [3][4] The European mink occurs primarily by forest streams unlikely to freeze in winter. 100 years ago this mink species occurred throughout the continent of Europe, but populations of them have declined severely and it is now either extinct or vastly reduced in most of the range it inhabited formerly. Apart from its size, the European mink is best identified by its uniform chocolate brown colour all over its body except for two mall white marks, one on its upper lip and the other on its lower lip. They do have some white around their face, especially their lips and chin, and sometimes you might see them with white spots on their chest or stomach. In Europe, some American minks have escaped into the wild, and the minks’ hunting has damaged the riverside wildlife. [11][26] The first captive polecat-mink hybrid was created in 1978 by Soviet zoologist Dr. Dmitry Ternovsky of Novosibirsk. FACTS ABOUT WELFUR. [20], The European mink is similar to the American mink, but with several important differences. Records of minks in Austria stopped by the late 18th century. American minks are larger than European minks. They … At 56–70 days they go with their mother on hunting expeditions, and become independent at 70–84 days. One species of mink lives in North America; the other lives in Europe. In the wild, mink are small, discreet, and…. Red fox numbers have increased greatly in areas where the wolf and Eurasian lynx have been extirpated, as well as areas where modern forestry is practised. As red foxes are known to prey on mustelids, excessive fox predation on the European mink is a possible factor, though it is improbable to have been a factor in Finland, where fox numbers were low during the early 20th century. The fur is light tawny or light brown with clear rusty highlights. Summer territories are smaller than winter territories. A European mink is a carnivore and opportunistic predator and mainly eats rabbits, rates, birds, fish, crayfish and frogs. Data from the 1990s indicate the European mink has disappeared from the northern half of this previous range. [5], The European mink does not form large territories, possibly due to the abundance of food on the banks of small water bodies. [17] The European mink's skull is less elongated than the kolonok's, with more widely spaced zygomatic arches and has a less massive facial region. There are two species referred to as "mink": the American mink and the European mink; The mink we have in Britain are not native. 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