Invasive animals in Karelia: American mink
The series of invasive animals in Karelia continues. This time the focus is on the American mink. This species' arrival history and features are described by Pyotr Danilov, Leading Researcher at the Zoology Laboratory of the Institute of Biology KaRC RAS.
American mink is a new species in the fauna of Karelia. Since the time of its arrival, not only did it get anchored in the Karelian land, but it has totally displaced the native European mink. Where its numbers are high, this predator is a serious enemy for the muskrat and waterfowl. Studies in Karelia and its adjacent areas in the Murmansk and Leningrad Regions proved the new species' main source was fur farms. Typical habitats occupied by the American mink are forest creeks and small rivers with sections that don’t freeze over – rapids and riffles, with relatively flat, but dry and littered banks. Occasional American mink have also been encountered and taken from inside urban communities (Kondopoga, Belomorsk, Sortavala, and even Petrozavodsk).
As a reminder, KarRC RAS, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), and Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE) are implementing a joint project DIAS. Its objective is to cooperate and share information and best practices to control invasive alien species and prevent their spread over Finland and Russian Karelia. If you’ve spotted invasive species, i.e. alien animals or plants that have settled and dispersed in Karelia as a result of human activities, please report your finding to scientists by following the link: https://dias.krc.karelia.ru/feedback
Photo: O. Nygren