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). 2. The diversity of these habitats provides a large source of prey all year round, such as amphibians, small mammals, fish and birds. European minks reach reproductive maturity at about 1 year. minor (Erxleben, 1777) Historically, the European mink was found throughout much of Europe, from Finland down to Spain. [10] The majority of polecat-mink hybrids have skulls bearing greater similarities to those of polecats than to minks. Denmark is facing a new horror, as cadavers of the culled minks have re-emerged from the earth, as per footage from local channels. The bodies of thousands of culled mink have risen to the surface at a mass burial site in western Denmark. The mink's tail is short, and does not exceed half the animal's body length (constituting about 40% of its length). The summer fur is somewhat shorter, coarser and less dense than the winter fur, though the differences are much less than in purely terrestrial mustelids. [25][26][27], The earliest actual records of decreases in European mink numbers occurred in Germany, having already become extinct in several areas by the middle of the 18th century. The European mink lives a solitary life, except during the mating season. In Lithuania, the last specimens were caught in 1978–79. By the 1930s-1950s, the European mink became extinct in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and possibly Bulgaria. Also, competition with the polecat has greatly increased, due to landscape change favouring the polecat. They may build their own burrows, move into an evacuated Water vole burrow, or live in a crevice among trees roots. Data from the 1990s indicate the European mink has disappeared from the northern half of this previous range. A European mink is a carnivore and opportunistic predator and mainly eats rabbits, rates, birds, fish, crayfish and frogs. Mink are able to swim up to 1.8 feet in one second. This type of fur and feet are an adaptation to living in the water. PROTECTION. [20], In dark coloured individuals, the fur is dark brown or almost blackish-brown, while light individuals are reddish brown. The underfur is light bluish-grey. [23], The European mink has both a permanent burrow and temporary shelters. The huge change in its numbers and distribution means it is one of the most endangered mammals of Europe and the world. They may also eat insects and vegetation. The European mink is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. Earlier this month, the government of Denmark – the world's largest fur exporter – ordered all of its roughly 15 million mink be killed. The mating season is from February to March. 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). The fur is light tawny or light brown with clear rusty highlights. The mink we have in Britain are not native here. 2. Currently, the European mink population exists in isolated regions in Russia, with small introduced subpopulations in France and Spain. It survives only in small populations in regions of Eastern Europe (Romania, Russian Federation, Ukraine) and Spain and France. [1] In Estonia, efforts have been made to re-establish viable populations on the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa. To summarize, the present range of the European mink in France mainly extends from the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime (46° 15'N) in the North to the Spanish border in the South, and eastwards to Dordogne and Lot-et-Garonne Summer territories are smaller than winter territories. [Phillip M Youngman] This page was last edited on 1 December 2020, at 20:43. 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. A very large subspecies, it is only slightly smaller than, A moderately-sized subspecies, it is slightly larger than, The middle zone of the European part of the. ... (European mink) (Kull 2005). Distribution and systematics of the European Mink Mustela lutreola Linnaeus 1761. To attract the interest of breeding facilities to participate in the EEP Program. A similar pattern occurred in Switzerland, with no records of minks being published in the 20th century. The majority of this species lives in Russia. [10], Predators of the European mink include the European polecat, the American mink, the golden eagle, large owls[5] and the red fox. Mink have webbed feet and fur that is covered with an oily substance which prevents its skin from being soaked. In Romania, the European mink was very common and widely distributed, with 8000–10,000 being captured in 1960. Changes in the known Spanish distribution of the European mink (Mustela lutreola) since 1950 to 1999 are described, where 258 records of the species were obtained. The ends of the limbs are often white. In European Russia, the European mink was common and widespread in the early 20th century, but began to decline during the 1950s-1970s. European minks are small carnivores once widely distributed over almost the whole of the European continent and currently surviving in a few enclaves as fragmented populations. Denmark plans to dig up thousands of dead mink culled to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, after the animals started to rise out of their mass graves. Mink can dive down as far as 16 feet (4.8 m). The species is no longer found in Finland. Monitoring the distribution of the European mink and the American mink, specially in adjacent areas Research with the final goal of understanding the concrete causes of declining for European mink populations, paying attention to the combination of factors (even for possible synergies). Voles are the most important food source, closely followed by crustaceans, frogs and water insects. The European mink populations are currently distributed in three well-defined, unconnected areas (northern Spain and south-western France, Romania, and Belarus and Russia). By the 1930s-1950s, the European mink became extinct in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and possibly Bulgaria. The European mink's daily food requirement is 140–180 grams (4.9–6.3 oz). 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 underfur is particularly dense compared with that of more land-based members of the genus Mustela. [28] Such hybridisation is very rare in the wild, and typically only occurs where European minks are declining. The European mink, a member of the mustelid family, have slender, elongated bodies. [24] In the Leningrad and Pskov Oblasts, 77.1% of European minks were found to be infected with skrjabingylosis. [24], Polecat-mink hybrids are termed khor'-tumak by furriers[9] and khonorik by fanciers. The European mink has a large, broad head with short ears. The tail tip is black and the underfur is dark bluish-grey. Originally bred for their fur (which was more valuable than that of either parent species), the breeding of these hybrids declined as European mink populations decreased. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=European_mink&oldid=991787704, IUCN Red List critically endangered species, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2005, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. [11] Hybrids can swim well like minks and burrow for food like polecats. European minks are more closely related to polecats (which are a type of skunk) rather than to American minks. Why are minks being culled? 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. [7], The American mink was introduced and released in Europe during the 1920s-1930s. This includes approximately 25,000 European minks in Russia, approximately 2,000 minks found in France and approximately 1,000 minks in northern Spain. At 2:00, you're meeting with mark mink to review support staff issues. [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. 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). varina (Matschie, 1912), The European mink is a typical representative of the genus Mustela, having a greatly elongated body with short limbs. [5] In the Moscow Zoo, estrus was observed on 22–26 April, with copulation lasting from 15 minutes to an hour. At 56–70 days they go with their mother on hunting expeditions, and become independent at 70–84 days. The face has no colour pattern, though its upper and lower lips and chin are pure white. In Romania, 10,000 minks were caught annually around 1960. 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. 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. How did it come to this? [5] It primarily feeds on voles, frogs, fish, crustaceans and insects. All 12 cases live in North Jutland and became unwell in September. Here are five things to know about the mink infections. The European mink (Mustela lutreola), also known as the Russian mink and Eurasian mink, is a semiaquatic species of mustelid native to Europe. During the summer period, the diet of wild polecat-mink hybrids is more similar to that of the mink than to the polecat, as they feed predominantly on frogs. 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