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Activity and home range in a recently widespread european mink population in western Europe

AuthorsPalomares, Francisco CSIC ORCID; López-Bao, J. V.; Telletxea, G.; Ceña, J. C.; Fournier, P.; Giralda, G.; Urra, F.
KeywordsCircadian activity
European mink
Mustela lutreola
Spatial organization
Space use
Issue DateOct-2017
CitationEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research 63: 78 (2017)
AbstractThe European mink is a critically endangered mustelid species of conservation concern throughout Europe. Several conservation interventions have been implemented in recent years, supported by both national and European governments. However, knowledge about the natural history of the European mink is scarce and localized to a few specific areas. From 2007 to 2009, we studied mink activity patterns, home range sizes, and macrohabitats of mink home ranges based on 28 radio-tracked European mink (10 adult females, 11 adult males, 3 young females, and 4 young males) in the Foral Community of Navarre (northern Spain), in the Arga and Aragón rivers. We also provide insights on the spatial organization of the species. European mink presented a stable, mainly nocturnal and crepuscular activity pattern and required between 15 and 75 ha of fluvial habitats to establish their home ranges, which were also quite stable throughout the year. There were great differences between adult females and adult males, the latter having home ranges five times larger. In addition, whereas adult females mainly settled in lagoons and small tributaries, males also used to a large extent the main river sections. European mink presented a polygynous mating system, where males were territorial and encompassed several female home ranges within their home ranges. Lagoons and similar structures should be preserved and favored in management strategies, and tributaries maintained in good condition, as female requirements should be prioritized in plans to improve the general habitat quality for the species. Any conservation plan aimed at the improvement or recovery of European mink populations through habitat management should consider management blocks of at least 15 ha per each potential breeding female.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10344-017-1135-0
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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