Facts about this animal
European mink are medium sized mustelids with a long body, short legs, and short tail. It is a semi-aquatic animal with a thick water-repellent undercoat and partly webbed feets. The fur is blackish brown with a small band of white fur around the upper and lower lips. This marking and its smaller size usually distinguishes it from the American mink (M. vison)
Competition and direct aggression with the introduced American mink, are the main threats to the European mink population. Overhunting and habitat loss also affect populations.
Did you know?
That the European mink is critically endangered? The reason for the species' dramatic decline is competition with and intra-guild aggression by an introduced alien species, the North American mink, Mustela vison.
|Name (Scientific)||Mustela lutreola|
|Name (English)||European Mink|
|Name (French)||Vison d'Europe|
|Name (German)||Europäischer Nerz|
|Name (Spanish)||Visón europeo|
|Local names||Estonian: Naarits
Lettish: Eiropas udele
|CITES Status||Not listed|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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|Range||Formerly throughout the European continent, now only in parts of Eastern Europe and some areas of Spain and France.|
|Habitat||Densely vegetated banks of rivers and streams|
|Wild population||Russia: 20,000 (2006); Spain: 500-1000 (2003); France: several hundred (2006); Danube Delta: <1,000 individuals (2006) (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||205 reported to ISIS|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 79 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
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Why do zoos keep this animal
The European mink is Critically Endangered and has lost most of its range. A programme to save the species from extinction was initiated in 1991. The project has ex situ and in situ components. On one hand, zoos maintain an ensurance ex situ population, partly in special off-exhibit breeding facilities, which is managed under a conservation breeding programme (EEP) operated at the regional level by EAZA. On the other hand the zoos participate in re-introduction operations.