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Resting and denning sites of European mink in the northern Iberian Peninsula (Western Europe)

AuthorsPalomares, Francisco ; López-Bao, José V. ; Telletxea, Garbine; Ceña, Juan Carlos; Fournier, Pascal; Giralda, Gloria; Urra, Fermín
Mustela lutreola
Resting behaviour
Space use
Issue Date2017
PublisherAssociazione teriologica romana
CitationHystrix 28(1). 2017
AbstractWe recorded resting and breeding sites used by the endangered European mink (Mustela lutreola) inhabiting Western Europe (Foral Community of Navarre). Over a sample size of 22 radio-tracked mink (10 adult females, 7 adult males, 2 young females, and 3 young males) between March 2007 and February 2009, we found that European mink mainly rested within brambles and reeds (39.7% for each type, n=156), regardless of seasons and age-sex classes. On average, the resting site re-use rate was 1.3 (range=1–4.3). Nine out of 10 breeding dens were located in lagoons or tributaries. The only one located along a main river course lost the litter due to flooding. Eight out of 10 breeding dens were in bramble patches. Thick and helophytic vegetation should be prioritised in management plans aimed at improving the conservation status of this species. Promoting this vegetation would favour adequate resting and breeding sites for European mink. A focus on improving vegetation around lagoons or tributaries can help to minimise flooding during the breeding period.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.4404/hystrix-28.1-12298
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