Mustela lutreola

European mink

Phylum Chordates (Chordata)
Class Mammals (Mammalia)
Order Carnivores (Carnivora)
Family Weasel family (Mustelidae)
Genus Weasels and stoats (Mustela)
Species Authority Linnaeus, 1761
Summary Status: endangered (Category I), it is pro-bably extinct as the last recorded sighting in Kazakstan was in 1938. The European mink has been superseded by the American mink even in areas neighboring Russia. It was formerly distributed in the delta of the Volga River, occasionally in the Ural River Basin and along the Ilek, Kargal and Zhaman Kagal Rivers in the Aktobe Region. Its habitat areas with freshwater streams, log-filled rivers and lakes, and deltas of rivers with numerous islands and thick vegetation that are rich in prey. The main limiting factor is the replacement by the much stronger American mink. The European mink breeds well in captivity. It is necessary to reintroduce the mink in wetlands of the Ural River and in northern Kazakstan, and to improve breeding in zoos.

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