New study shows progressive spread of American mink in Europe and highlights need for control strategies and monitoring

Neogale vison, commonly known as the American mink, is an invasive species in Europe. It was originally introduced for fur farming purposes during the 1920s, but due to escapes and illegal releases, it has now established itself in the wild. This feral species poses a serious threat to native species and biodiversity in Europe. Moreover, there is a risk of it contributing to the spread of disease, including mink-related strains of COVID-19. A recent study published in Mammal Review sheds light on the presence of American minks in Europe over the last 15 years.

An international team of scientists recently conducted a study on the American mink’s presence in Europe. The research incorporated an assortment of data resources from 32 countries and revealed that the species has been progressively spreading throughout most of Europe. Over the last decade, the American mink’s range has expanded and can now be found in various locations across Northern and Western Europe. However, there is insufficient data on its distribution in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.

By providing updated information on the American mink’s distribution, this study could aid officials in devising risk assessment and management policies. The study’s corresponding author, Joaquin Vicente, Ph.D., from Spain’s University of Castilla-La Mancha and Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, emphasized the need for effective control measures and ongoing monitoring of American mink populations across Europe. He further added that the findings could be valuable for policymakers, conservationists, and other stakeholders working towards protecting European ecosystems and public health.

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