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Vesikko - Ähtäri Zoo

European Mink

Mustela lutreola

Finland’s European mink population has become extinct

In the past, European mink was found everywhere in Europe, except in the south. Nowadays, the species has disappeared from most of Europe, and it is considered critically endangered.

Why are minks disappearing?

  • The European mink suffered as streams became too nutrient-rich and natural water bodies disappeared.
  • The crayfish plague that spread across Europe wiped out crayfish populations in many water bodies where European minks used to hunt for food.
  • Because of its fur, the European mink was a popular game animal.
  • Minks that were introduced in place of the European mink and that ran from fur farms have filled the European mink’s place in the ecosystem, so the species cannot be reintroduced into the wild.

Conservation status

This species is critically endangered (CR). It is at an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. In Finland, the European mink is classified as “extinct”.

Picture gallery

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