Environment

Germany's Most Threatened Mammals

European Mink populations in Germany and much of Europe have fallen to critical levels due to overhunting and habitat lo

Germany is a country located at the edge of Western Europe, historically being part of the geographic region of Central Europe. This article will mention some of the threatened mammals that are found in the country. The article will discuss their physical characteristics, habitats and range, current conservation status and the major threats that they face.

Some Of The Threatened Mammals Of Germany

European Mink

The European Mink, scientific name Mustela lutreola, is a semi-aquatic member of the Mustelidae family comprising the badger, otter, ferret, mink, wolverine and other similar carnivorous mammals. Adults of this species grow to be anywhere between 13.9 and 16.9 inches in length and weigh around 1.21 to 1.76 pounds. The fur of the mink ranges from a light reddish-brown color to dark brown, and it has notable white marks on its upper and lower lips that its American counterpart lacks.

The habitat of this species is the thickly vegetated banks of rivers, streams or lakes and it is rarely found away from freshwater. The European Mink was found across most of Europe but has now become regionally extinct in many countries. The species today is mostly found in Spain, France, Romania, the Ukraine, and Russia. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the European Mink has been listed as a critically endangered species since 2011, and currently, its population is decreasing. The major threats that have been facing this species include loss of habitat and hunting.

Garden Dormouse

The Garden Dormouse, scientific name Eliomys quercinus, is a species of rodent that is a member of the Gliridae family. Adults of this species usually grow to be around 2.9 to 5.9 inches in length and weigh between 2.1 to 4.9 ounces. The species has a gray or brown colored dorsal surface, and a white ventral surface, along with notable black eye markings and a white tassel at the end of its tail. The species inhabits various types of woodland habitats, although it is also found in orchards, gardens, rocky areas and inside buildings. The species is found throughout Europe, although most of the population is now in Western Europe, due to the fragmentation of Eastern European populations. According to the ICUN Red List, the Garden Dormouse has been listed as a near threatened species since 2008, and its population is currently decreasing. The major threats that this species faces are from the change and loss of habitat, as well as direct competition with the non-native brown rat.

Protection Of Germany's Threatened Mammals

The European Mink is now legally protected in Germany. European mink captive breeding programs have been introduced to breed the animal in captivity before releasing them in the wild. Similar conservation programs have been introduced in Germany and other parts of the world to protect the threatened mammals of the country.

Germany's Most Threatened Mammals

Germany's Most Threatened MammalsScientific Name
European Mink
Mustela lutreola
European OtterLutra lutra
Harbor PorpoisePhocoena phocoena
BarbastelleBarbastella barbastellus
Geoffroy's BatMyotis emarginatus
Pond BatMyotis dasycneme
Bechstein's BatMyotis bechsteini
Garden DormouseEliomys quercinus
European Ground SquirrelSpermophilus citellus
European BeaverCastor fiber
Red SquirrelSciurus vulgaris

More in Environment