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. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has on Thursday, Nov. 12 issued new guidance to curb the spread of the coronavirus between minks and humans, warning that the transmission of COVID-19 among animals could speed up the number of mutations in the virus before it potentially jumps back into people. Between 1981 and 1989, 388 European minks were introduced to two of the Kurile Islands, though by the 1990s, the population there was found to be lower than that originally released. Thus, female European minks impregnated by male American minks are unable to reproduce with their conspecifics. 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. NY 10036. Occasionally, colour mutations such as albinos and white spots throughout the pelage occur. Phylogeny, Evolutionary History and Taxonomy of the Mustelidae based on Sequences of the Cytochrome b Gene and a Complex Repetitive Flanking Region. They are very difficult to tame and breed, as males are sterile, though females are fertile. Please refresh the page and try again. & DOMINGO-ROURA, X. Selective breeding over many generations has resulted in farmed mink in a wide range of colours, or âphasesâ, never seen in nature. How many minks are left? Adult males usually measure more than 42 cm (17 in) long. There may be as many as 20,000 (two-thirds of the world population) located within that one country. 13 September 2016.  It is more sedentary than the American mink, and will confine itself for long periods in its burrow in very cold weather. Minks are small mammals with long, thin bodies, short legs, pointed snouts and claws. Their range has been reduced by at least 90% since the mid-19 th century. The American mink is less dependent on wetland habitats than the European mink and is 20-40% larger. Nearly 18 million were bred and killed in Denmark alone. The mink's tail is short, and does not exceed half the animal's body length (constituting about 40% of its length). It is similar in colour to the American mink, but is slightly smaller and has a less specialized skull. 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. The population is continuing to decline and is estimated to reach an 80 percent loss in the next 10 years. And astronomers are excited. U.S. Mink Farming Industry. China accounts for around 40% of mink pelt production, with around 35 million in â¦ They accompany the mother on hunting expeditions at the age of 56â70 days, and become independent at the age 70â84 days. The summer fur is somewhat lighter, and dirty in tone, with more reddish highlights. Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice has called for wild mink to be included in the cull.  Such hybridisation is very rare in the wild, and typically only occurs where European minks are declining. Mink are aggressive predators and will overkill prey. European Mink - Mustela lutreola The European mink is found in areas of northeast Spain and France and throughout Europe to the Irtysh and Ob Rivers.  The European mink occurs primarily by forest streams unlikely to freeze in winter. Fish are an important food source in floodlands, with cases being known of European minks catching fish weighing 1â1.2 kg (2.2â2.6 lb). Kits are weaned at 6 to 10 weeks, though how long they stay with their mother depends on the species. However, this reason alone cannot account for the decline in areas where hunting was less intense, such as in Germany. The fur is light tawny or light brown with clear rusty highlights. Leftovers from a kill are often kept in the mink's den for later. , 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. Wild Mink. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Most minks are loners and typically only come together to breed. By the time it reaches adulthood, a male is about the size of a small house cat, weighing 680 â 1,300 gm, and measuring about 56 cm in length. , The European mink does not form large territories, possibly due to the abundance of food on the banks of small water bodies. Scientists just mapped 1 million new galaxies, in 300 hours, Lost islands beneath the North Sea survived a mega-tsunami 8,000 years ago, Drone catches Arecibo Observatory's last moments, Mysterious black spot in polar explorer's diary offers gruesome clue to his fate, Sprawling 8-mile-long 'canvas' of ice age beasts discovered hidden in Amazon rainforest. The European mink (Mustela lutreola), also known as the Russian mink and Eurasian mink, is a semiaquatic species of mustelid native to Europe.  When swimming, it paddles with both its front and back limbs simultaneously. Additional mink culls are mentioned in Some key facts about the mink industry in Europe, MarketScreener, Anthony Deutsch & Mike Collett-White, 11/05/2020, (along with some economic info):. , The American mink was introduced and released in Europe during the 1920s-1930s. The length of the hairs on the back and belly differ little, a further adaptation to the European mink's semiaquatic way of life. In Romania, the European mink was very common and widely distributed, with 8000â10,000 being captured in 1960. In common with the fur industry as a whole, the marketing of mink pelts is an international affair. In the EU, over 41 million mink were killed for fur production in 2014. In this study, breeding success of wild and captive born European minks at Tallinn Zoological Garden are compared, and the mating behavior of the males is analyzed. Since the extinction of the sea mink, the American mink is the only extant member of the genus Neovison. Zoologica Scripta, 33: 481 - 499, Tumanov, Igor L. & Abramov, Alexei V. (2002), Why is the European mink, Mustela lutreola disappearing? In France and Spain, an isolated range occurs, extending from Brittany to northern Spain. Differences between its diet and that of the American mink are small. 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. European minks weigh 15.5 to 26 ounces (440 to 739 g) and are around 12 to 15 inches (31 to 38 cm). , The European mink has both a permanent burrow and temporary shelters. These minks are reared in large numbers so that they can meet international demands for mink fur and pelts. The next largest European mink fur producers were Poland (7.8 million) and the Netherlands (5.5 million). The European mink is one of the most endangered mammals in the world. 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