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The Mink – Mustela lutreola

The species belongs to kingdom Animalia, Chordata ȋncrengătura class Mammalia, order Carnivora and the family Mustelidae.

In our country, most specimens are found in the Danube Delta. The mink can be faund in mountain waters : Lapusna trout, Mures County and Azuga Valley, Prahova County, Madaras Olt basin, Harghita County.

Trunk length is between 35-40 cm, tail 13-14 cm, weight 550-800 gr.Is the size of a ferret, but differs from it by a lighter fur color (black ferret beats ), by the fact that ferrets have a spot lighter on the side of the body, while mink has not.

Her brown color has the same intensity on the sides and back, the length of mink hair is shorter and has some swimming membrane to the fingers.

Senses. Hearing and vision are good, but the smell mediocre.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Limbs. Swimming membrane between the toes is barely sketched, underdeveloped.
Swimming. Mink in water moves rapidly with the help of the membrane between the toes.

The fur is dark brown, uniform throughout the body, except the chin and upper lip often which are lighter.
           Dental formula is I 3/3 C1 / 1 P3 / 3 M1 / 2 = 34

Sound. Emits a thin whistle. In an emergency screams loud.

Longevity is between 8-10 years.

Shelter. Their couch arranged in banks, under tree roots, in the dent of the land with water gallery exit.

Food consists mainly of fish and frogs, but in addition they also eat small rodents, young rabbits and birds, especially aquatic species. In captivity may be used with slaughterhouse waste.

Reproduction. Mink becomes sexually mature at the age of nine months, they mate in the second half of April and the first half of May, the duration of gestation is 63 days, that mean that it gives birth in late June and early July, the number of cubs is 3 -7, beginning to see only after 30-35 days, leaving the couch after 4 weeks and become independent at the age of 2-3 months. It is therefore a very prolific animal in regards sociability, it can be seen both as a group and individually.

Like otter, operates like an amphibious animal, especially in the evening and night without being excluded wanderings during the day.

In anal region is a gland that secretes a substance with strong garlic odor when it is attacked.

Enemies. Otter otter and enemies, plus predatory birds of night and day.

Mink biotope is represented by running or standing water surroundings. Lives also both in water and on land.

Main threats:

A major threat to European mink is entering the delta biome of his immediate family, alohtone American mink, which eliminated it from most occupied areas of western and central Europe.

Hunting. Mink herds collapse in mid-century was due to the intensive capture for fur.Another danger is the infestation of the native population of mink with parvovirus (ADV) said Aleutian virus, which easely fall prey to this, the shape of European specimens that have not developed a relative immunity as American mink.

Another reason that led to the decline of the species is the destruction of natural habitats.

Currently, it is estimated that European mink population size DDBR is between 400 - 1000 exemplary with large variations from year to year, so there is a real risk of extinction, in cause of restricting anthropogenic or natural factors.