Study and conservation activity in relation to the European mink

Intensive study on population ecology of the European mink Mustela lutreola as a critically endangered species in the Lovat terrain, Paazierre Forest, northern Belarus in 1988-2000, particularly the researches in 1995-1997 in collaboration with Prof. Dr. David Macdonald and Dr. Hans Kruuk, were a serious school for me, and that advanced a lot my professional knowledge and skills. For those three years I was accepted as a member of Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) in the Oxford University and visited it several times per year.  For the mentioned studies there were applied the whole variety of available research methods of mammal population ecology including a lot of telemetry. In total we radiotagged 38 European mink (18 inds were radiotracked for long enough), 69 American mink Neovison vison (35) and 19 polecats Mustela putorius (12).

In 1995, specially for the study on the European mink there was established a field station in the Zadrach hamlet, Haradok district, Vitebsk region of Belarus. Zadrach field station still exists. After the European mink project (1997-2010) the Zadrach fieldstation was tensely used to investigate the vertebrate predator-prey community. Nowadays it is mainly visited for some study on brown bears.

In 1999-2000 I successfully helped to Dr.Tiit Maran with eradication of American mink in the Huiimaa islands, Estonia as well as checked the habitat suitability for the European mink there.

Those studies and the species conservation output were published in a series of articles and in the three books that may be download following the links below.

european mink D.W. Macdonald, V. Sidorovich, T. Maran, H.Kruuk. “European mink, Mustela lutreola: Analyses for Conservation” – WildCRU and Darwin Initiative, 2002.

analysis-1“Analysis of vertebrate predator-prey community. Studies within the European Forest zone in terrains with transitional mixed forest in Belarus” – Tesey, 2011

mustelidsin Belarus
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The European mink in the Lovat terrain, the Piashchanka small river, 1992
The European mink
European mink feeds on common frogs in the place of their spawning, the valley of the Lovat river, 1993
European mink, Vadim Sidorovich, Belarus
European mink with captured common frog, the marshy valley of the Lovat river, 1993
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Vadim Sidorovich during the lave-capturing of European mink along the Lovat river, 1996
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Radiotagged European mink at the Lovat river, 1997
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While radiotracking European mink at the Zadrach lake, 1997
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Zadrach fieldstation that was established for the study on the European mink in 1995, the photo was taken in 1999