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Georgia - European Mink / Mustela lutreola

The common name mink comes from the Swedish word maenk. Mink are members 
of the weasel family which includes skunks, otters, fishers, martens and wolverines. 
The mink's coloration varies from brown to almost black, its belly is slightly lighter than its back and flanks, and it may have a white chin and throat. A domestic mink raised on a ranch for the fur industry is normally much larger than a wild mink and the color of its fur ranges from white to black with everal unique colors that have been developed by mink ranchers. A mink's pelt has thick underfur for insulation and buoyancy because the animal lives in and near water. However, it does not have webbed feet or a specialized tail as do other semi-aquatic mammals such as beaver, muskrats and otters. 
Mink are found thoughout North America, northern Europe and the ex-USSR. The mink lives in a variety of wetland and riparian habitats including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds and marshes. Permanent water, a reliable food source and adequate shoreline vegetation are keys to good mink habitat Upland vegetation around the stream or wetland is also important to the mink, because it frequently hunts as much as one-quarter mile away from the water. Intensive farming or grazing to the edge of the shoreline or stream bank reduces the quality of mink habitat because it eliminates necessary hunting sites. Stream channelization reduces the amount of habitat available by reducing the length of the stream, and erosion reduces the quality of habitat for fish and other prey. Another way in which mink habitat is commonly destroyed is by people draining and filling wetlands, or allowing too much grazing of wetlands. The average lifespan of a mink is less than one year and it is uncommon for them to live as long as four years. Mink are preyed upon by owls, coyotes and cats. Other significant sources of mortality include fighting with other minks, starvation of dispersing juveniles, and trapping. 

Animal Mustela lutreola
Issue date: April,27 1999
Values: 10,20,30,60 T.
Prinitng: 250 000 (incl. 125 000 in mini-sheets
Printed in: sheets of 25 (5x5) &
mini-sheets of 5 sets
Artwork: O.Bell & B.Koblianidze

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