We are going to start Feb 2020 with the European Mink as our mighty animal of the week. Mink are amazing animals and they are found in the Mustelidae family which is a group of hardcore, carnivorous mammals. Mink are long, slender, generally a dark brown when found in the wild and reach about 2 feet in length. There is currently two living species of mink, the American Mink and the European Mink and another recently extinct species called the Sea Mink, although they are not as closely related as you would think. European Minks are smaller but they are still quick and agile hunters who feed on a huge variety of food, including fish, insects, frogs, and smaller mammals, like mice and voles. Since they are semi aquatic they are know to feed on animals found in the Riparian zone or the area between open land and river. Riparian zones will also apply to areas between streams as well. All of which are frequented by European Minks.
Why Are European Minks Critically Endangered?
European Mink have been hit by many factors that make them a species currently listed as critically endangered by the ICUN. Mink are commonly farmed for furs, so it only makes sense that hunters have been involved in hunting mink for their furs for quite sometime. Hunting has been a big reason for the decline of the European Mink, but this is only assumed to be the reasons in certain areas. They have also faced struggles with food sources disappearing, habitat changing, habitat destruction, and even becoming prey to other animals. The American Mink has also been a potential for decline in certain areas due to out competing with the European Minks.
Feel The Might of the Mink
As stated earlier European Minks are mustelids and even though they are not as fierce as some of their predators, they are still incredibly quick and nimble and very good at hunting. These little mammals are incredible swimmers and also very good at diving, which allows them to hunt specialized aquatic prey. A minks skull is build for a carnivorous diet, so their teeth assist in hurting and latching into their prey so they can take down the kill.