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European mink

Mustela lutreola. Iregua River. La Rioja

The European mink (Mustela lutreola) is a small mustelid, it is considered the most threatened mammal in Europe. Since XIX Century its range was widespread in almost the whole continent. Nowadays it has severely decline to less than 10% of its former range. It is have been observed their presence in Spain and in the Danube Delta (Romania and Ukraine), and it is likely in France and Russia. 

It is considered as a Priority Species of Community interest under the EC Habitats Directive requiring strict protection and special areas for its conservation. 

The current Spanish population abundance is estimated in less than 500 individuals. The most important population occupied the Mediterranean side of the Ebro valley and small areas of eastern Cantabrian basins. Due to the general trend observed recently its status is considered as critical (mainly because of American mink, Neovison vison, competition). Its situation is highly critical and without implementation of more effective conservation measures it is very likely that the species faces extinction in a short period of time in Spain. The UICN Red List ranks it as a Critically Endangered Species since 2011. In Spain it is listed as “Endangered” since 2011 and it has been included in the in the Red Book of Terrestrial Mammals. Its range is contained mostly within Natura 2000 Network.

You can see more images and videos made with hunting cameras here