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Animal Detail ViewՄանրամասն` նրանց մասին

10.10.2015

European mink, Russian mink


Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Mustelidae

Genus: Mustela

Species: (Mustela lutreola Linnaeus, 1761)

 

Description

This carnivorous mammal has long body and short tail. The limbs are short, with relatively well-developed membranes between the digits. The head and eyes are small. Ears are small and rounded. M. lutreola has a white chin. Some of them may have white spots on the throat, chest, and stomach area. The body length is 30-45 cm. The tail length is 12-20 cm. Males weigh up to 800 g and females weigh from 600 - 700 g. Fur color is dark brown to black, and the underfur is usually brown; it is thick, glossy and has been trapped as precious object for fur production. The fur and body of European mink are adapted to aquatic life conditions. This animal is able to swim and to dive.

Habitat

The European mink occurs in the European part of Russian Federation and Southeastern part of the Siberian plain. It is found also in Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Romania, France and Caucasus. M. lutreola inhabits densely vegetated banks of rivers, and sometimes lake-banks. It is rarely found more than 100 meters away from fresh water.

 

Behavior

The European mink does not form large territories, possibly due to the abundance of food banks of small water bodies. The European mink has both a permanent burrow and temporary shelters. Nesting chambers are lined in straw, moss, mouse wool and bird feathers. M. lutreola is most active in the dusk and during the night.

Diet

Mustela lutreola feeds on mouse-like rodents, frogs, birds and their eggs, trees, seeds, insects, crustaceans and small fish. Usually foraging comes out at dusk and at night. The main predator in nature is the otter.

Reproduction

Mating season occurs from February to March. The duration of pregnancy is approximately 35-72 days, with births occurring in April and May. The number of young in a litter is between two and seven, but usually the litter is around four or five. Young are able to open their eyes after 4 weeks. Females achieve sexual maturity at about 1 year. This species lives 4-6 years in natural conditions and in captivity, up to 10 years.

Conservation Status

The European mink is listed in the IUCN Red List and evaluated as “Critically Endangered”.



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