Christmas present ideas – charity merchandise from our webshop

Looking for a christmas present? Check out what we sell at our webshop HERE! For example, you can buy cool and practical European mink themed merchandise! All proceeds go to a species protection charity.

Through Lutreola, everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the protection of endangered animals by making a donation or buying our merchandise.

SA LUTREOLA
IBAN: EE692200221012181039

Swedbank
Liivalaia 8
15040 Tallinn
SWIFT: HABAEE2X

Please mention the species whose protection you wish to support in the payment (European mink, rhino, snow leopard, amur leopard or tiger).


European Mink Day 2018

This year we celebrated the European Mink Day for the third time in Tallinn Zoo and it was a great success. There were a lot of activities for everyone.

Drawing contest– Since we have about 100 minks at Tallinn Zoo and we also celebrated Estonia’s 100thAnniversary of Independence this year, we decided to name our drawing contest “Estonia’s 100 minks”. We invited schools, kindergartens (children aged 3-18) and also adults to participate. The best pictures will be added to new European mink charity notebooks and can be purchased from Species Conservation Boutique next year.

 

Drawing and crafts activities for smaller children

 

Excursions to the European Mink Breeding Center (which is a restricted area, where zoo visitors normally can’t go)

 

Mink radio tracking– Visitors had to find a mink mascot (who was carrying a mink radio collar) from the zoo territory. After capturing the “mink” they had to check if it had a transponder (which is an indicator that the animal is not wild born) and take all the necessary measurements (from paws, tail, ears etc.) like the conservation scientists do on the field.

 

Workshop “Who was eaten by the mink?” – Participants had to go through mink feces to find any remains of its food objects (feathers, small mammal bones, fish scales etc.)

 

Exhibition about European mink ex situ and in situconservation work

 

Mustelid trivia evening with the focus on e-mink

 

Lutreola Species Conservation Boutique charity sale (https://pood.lutreola.eu/en/)


Euroopa naaritsa paljundusprogrammide edukas koostöö jätkub

Sel kevadel toimunud Eesti-Hispaania segapaaride paljundamise tulemusel sündisid Talinna loomaaias viis euroopa naaritsa poega, kellest kaks saadeti septembri lõpus Toledos asuvasse euroopa naaritsate paljunduskeskusesse.

Märtsis, vahetult enne euroopa naaritsate paaritamisperioodi algust, toimus esimest korda Tallinna loomaaia ja Toledos asuva euroopa naaritsa paljunduskeskuse (FIEB – Foundation for the investigation in ethology and biodiversity) vahel emaste loomade vahetus. Eestist saadeti ära kolm ning Hispaaniast saadi vastu samuti kolm naaritsat, eesmärgiga neid kohalike isasloomadega paaritada.

Euroopa naaritsa tehispopulatsioonid on jagatud ida ja lääne asurkonnaks ning loomade paljundamist koordineeritakse vastavalt Eestis ja Hispaanias. Kahe populatsiooni isendeid on seni hoitud eraldi, kuid tulevikus on geneetilise mitmekesisuse suurendamise eesmärgil plaanis kaks eraldiseisnud asurkonda ühendada. Loomade vahetuse eesmärk oligi välja selgitada, kas kahe erineva populatsiooni isendid on võimelised omavahel järglasi saama.

Tallinna toodud Hispaania naaritsatest jäi tiineks kaks ja neil sündis kahepeale kokku viis poega. Hispaaniasse saadetud emaseid naaritsaid paaritada ei õnnestunud, kuid tuleval aastal proovitakse uuesti. Sellele vaatamata saab nüüd olla kindel, et kahe erineva asurkonna isendeid on võimalik omavahel paljundada.

Praeguseks on suve hakul Eesti-Hispaania segapaaridele sündinud naaritsad suureks kasvanud ja 27. septembril sõitsid kaks emast poega Hispaania paljunduskeskusesse. Järgmisel aastal proovitakse seal ka neilt järglasi saada. Ülejäänud Tallinna loomaaias sündinud pojad ja nende emad jäävad esialgu Eestisse.

 

 

 

 

 


2018. a esimesed pojad kontrollitud!

2018. aasta esimene pesakond kontrollitud. Monical on pesakastis 6 väikest naaritsat – kaks poissi ja neli tüdrukut.

Naaritsahakatiste vanemate suhted märtsis olid üsna leiged ja paaritumist keegi ei näinudki. Kokku jäeti nad vaid seetõttu, et Kalev on varem juba ennast tõestanud ja igati korralikult käituv tegelane.  Enamasti jagavad meie loomad pärast edukat paaritumist pesakasti ja veedavad ka järgnevatel päevadel koos aega. Aga nemad istusid kumbki omas pesakastis ja vältisid üksteist. Olime üsna kindlad, et sellest paarist küll asja ei saa. Mõne päeva pärast plaaniti loomad eraldada, kuid kuna Monicalt võetud nõreproovi järgi pidanuks ta olema täisöstruses (parim aeg paaritumiseks), jäeti nad veel üheks ööks kokku. Muidu aktiivne isasloom ei ilmutanud aga emase vastu mingit huvi.  Järgmine päev võeti isane ära, kuna ulukihooldaja sõnul tundus ta olevat emase suhtes agressiivne.

Arvestuslikuks poegimisajaks sai kaks kuupäeva – 14. mai (42 päeva esimesest kokkupanemise päevast) ja 18. mai (arvutatud teise kokkupanemise järgi). Poegade hääli kuulsime oma rõõmuks 16. mail.

 

Monica 12 päevased pojad. Foto: Kristel Nemvalts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pesakondade ootel…

Selleks aastaks on paaride kokkupanemine läbi ja ootame põnevusega, millal esimesed pojad oma olemasolust märku annavad.

2017. aastal paaritati 15 emast, neist kolm, võõrapäraste nimedega Lillet, Leitzaran ja Llucanesa, tulid meile Hispaaniast. Paaripanek läks edukalt, aga kas ka kõigilt järglasi on oodata, selgub selle ja järgneva kuu jooksul.

Kui poegade oletatav sündimise päev (42 päeva pärast paaritumist) on käes, käivad töötajad vargsi pesakasti juures kõrvu kikitamas, lootuses kuulda poegade viginat. Ühtlasi püütakse poegade olemasolule kinnitust leida emaslooma käitumist jälgides. Tavaliselt muutuvad emased siis agressiivsemaks või vastupidi, peidulisemaks.

Tänavu pidanuks esimene pesakond ilmavalgust nägema 7. mail, kuid Phoebe tegutsemise järgi võib arvata, et poegi pole. Kuigi Gerhard ja Phoebe tundusid olevat nagu kokku loodud, võib siiski olla, et 7 aastane Gerhard on järglaste soetamiseks juba liiga vana. Naaritsate eluiga on ca 10 aastat ja viljakaks perioodiks peetakse emastel 1-5, isastel 1-8 aastat. Samas võib alati ette tulla erandeid nii üht kui teistpidi.  Igaks juhuks me Phoebe magamispessa enne nädalat siiski ei vaata.

Viimast pesakonda on oodata 11. juunil.

 



Naaritsapäev taas tulekul ja joonistusvõistlus juba alanud!

22. aprillil tähistatakse Tallinna loomaaias Naaritsapäeva. Selle päeva raames kuulutame avatuks joonistusvõistluse “Eesti 100 naaritsat”.

Joonistusvõistluse võitja kuulutatakse välja Naaritsapäeval mälumängu eel, pilte ootame 18. aprillini. Pildid palume tuua ümbrikuga loomaaia kassasse või saata postiga aadressile: Tallinna Loomaaed, Ehitajate tee 150, 13522 Tallinn (märksõnaga Naaritsapäev)

Pildi pöördele palume kirjutada autori/autori esindaja kontaktandmed. Võitnud pilti kasutatakse koos autori nimega kevadel ilmuva heategevusliku kaustiku kujundamisel. Pilte hinnatakse viies vanusevahemikus: 3-6 aastased, 7-10 aastased, 11-14 aastased, 15-18 aastased ja 18+ aastased.

Soovitus joonistajale: pilt võiks olla A4 või suuremas formaadis.

Allolevad pildid on joonistatud Hispaania laste poolt.

 

 



Tallinna loomaaeda saabusid temperamentsed naaritsatüdrukud Hispaaniast

Tallinna loomaaia ja Toledos asuva euroopa naaritsate paljunduskeskuse vahel toimub loomade vahetus, mille eesmärgiks on kahe tehispopulatsiooni isendite omavaheline paaritamine. Loodetavasti sünnivad juba sel suvel elujõulised naaritsapojad, kes annavad selgust sellele, kas eraldatud asurkonnad saab omavahel lähitulevikus liita.

Nii Eestis kui Hispaanias koordineeritakse euroopa naaritsa paljundusprogrammi, kuid sealjuures tegeletakse erinevate populatsioonidega: naaritsa ida ja lääne populatsiooniga. Nagu nimigi viitab, pärinevad esimese asurkonna isendid Ida-Euroopast (peamiselt Venemaalt) ja teise isendid Lääne-Euroopast (Hispaaniast). Üle-Euroopalise euroopa naaritsa paljundusprogrammi (EEP – European Endangered species Program) üheks tulevikueesmärgiks on ühendada kaks tehisasurkonda, kuna lääne populatsiooni isendite vähese arvukuse ja madala geneetilise mitmekesisuse tõttu on selle hääbumisoht suur. Euroopa naaritsa ajaloolise leviku ja geneetiliste uuringute põhjal on kindlaks tehtud, et naaritsa ida ja lääne populatsioonid on varem olnud ühesed, ning neid võiks hallata koos. Seetõttu toimuski Tallinna loomaaia ja FIEB’i (Foundation for the investigation in ethology and biodiversity) koostööprojekti raames sel nädalal emaste naaritsate vahetus. Hispaaniasse saadeti kolm looma ning sealt saabus Tallinna loomaaeda samuti kolm isendit. Kuigi tegemist ei ole erinevate alamliikidega, siis kaua teineteisest lahus olnud sama liigi populatsioonidel võib tekkida ristumisbarjäär.  Vahetuse eesmärgiks ongi välja selgitada, kas erinevad populatsioonid annavad omavahel elujõulisi järglasi. Lisaks viiakse käesoleva projekti raames läbi mõlema tehisasurkonna populatsioonigeneetilised uuringud. Nende uuringute käigus saadakse uuem ülevaade hetkel nendes asurkondades elavate naaritsate geneetilisest seisust.


Amuuri leopardi ja tiigri liigikaitselise tegevuse toetamine

Kui aastal 2016 kogusid Tallinna loomaaed ja SA Lutreola amuuri leopardi ja amuuri tiigri liigikaitselise tegevuse toetuseks 2367,78 eurot, siis 2017. aastal saime nende suurte kaslaste säilimisele looduses kaasa aidata 3312 euroga.

Lisaks neile oleme toetanud ka teravmokk ninasarviku, lumeleopardi, euroopa naaritsa ja lendorava kaitset.  Kui palju koguti 2017. aastal annetusi nende liikide kaitseks ja kuhu see raha saadeti, vaata siit

 

Täname kõiki annetajaid ja meie heategevuslike toodete ostjaid, tänu kellele see võimalikuks sai!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuidas nende liikide kaitset toetada?

 

 

 

 

 

 



Toeta ohustatud liikide kaitset!

Liigikaitse kotid

Lendorava kotid

 

Osta Tallinna loomaaiast vahva kott!

Kõik kottide müügist laekuv tulu läheb vastava liigi kaitsetegevuste toetamiseks.

 

 

 


The litters in 2016

This year, six litters with 33 young minks were born in the Tallinn Zoo as well as two litters with eight young minks in the semi-natural enclosures in Hiiumaa.

Riinu and Donald had the biggest litter (7 kits, 4 males and 3 females, or 4.3 as it is marked in the zoo databases). Young Rapuntsel, who turned 1 year old this spring, had the smallest litter. There are three bright-eyed youngsters wondering the world in her enclosure on the island of Hiiumaa, two males and one female.

The average litter size for European minks in nature is four. Our females usually have more kits with the average litter size this year being 5.1.

For now even the youngest minks (born on May 31st) are going to be 2 months old. European minks start to come out from the nest after their eyes have opened (ca. month old). Presently they are almost the same size as their mother, some male minks are even larger, running around, chasing each other and enjoying splashing in the water.

Häbelik, who was sent to Hiiumaa, didn’t have kits and she was released on June 26. Since July 1st, Nunnu lives in the enclosure with her 4 youngsters and are awaiting release.

On the 12th of July, Rosin along with her three kits, who were born in the wild, were brought to the Tallinn Zoo. She had begun to beg for food and steal from a restaurant as well as teaching this to her young. Restaurant food can also be tasty for minks, but behavior like this is not suitable for proper wild animals. We then had to trap them and bring them to the zoo. Hopefully their descendants can make it without cutlets of organic beef when released.

 

 

naaritsapere Hiiumaal

Young European minks, Hiiumaa (by Tiit Maran)

 

 


Great news – First wild-born European mink in Steinhuuder Meer (Lower-Saxony, Germany)

ÖSSM_Nachwuchs-Europäischer-Nerzcropped for web

Today a fantastic news was received by the Foundation Lutreola.  The European mink reintroduction project initiated in 2010 in Steinhuuder Meer (in Lower-Saxony, Germany) reached to a very important milestone. A trail-camera image proved the very first breeding of the European mink the wild there. As it can be seen in the photo – female is carrying a pup. This is a fantastic reward for all the hard and dedicated work our collaegues in the Ecological Conservation Station at Steinhuuder Meer have been doing all these years. Foundation Lutreola and Tallinn Zoo congratulate our colleaguase for this success!

The Lower-Saxony and the Steinhuuder Meer Conservaiton Station have very good reasons to be proud of – THEY HAVE DONE IT!!!!

The press release in German can be found here:  2015-Presseinfo Nerz – Fortpflanzungsnachweis


First birth of European mink in Tallinn Zoo breeding facility in 2015

During last night the first birth European mink took place in 2015. The female, Salme, delivered young. We do not know how many, as the female needs to be left fully undisturbed for 10 days minimum. Only after that we can check the number and sex of these new-borns.

This marks the start of the birth-period in this spring. Next birth is expected during coming night.

The mating season 2015 was pretty successful. The planned number of females was mated:

  • 14 females were mated for genetic management of the captive population,
  • four females were mated for release and were housed into the pre-release enclosures in Tallinn Zoo research lab,
  • three females were mated for pre-release enclosures in Hiiumaa Island. These were transported to the island last week.

 

It seems that we will have interesting mink year.


The first news about the European mink conservation actions in Estonia in 2014

The European mink conservation in 2014 in Estonia is already underway and it is time to share some emotions.
It seems that the weird winter and exceptionally early spring have influenced also our mink in breeding facility. Out small team led by Kertu Namsing checked the heat status of our mink first time in 17th of March (usually the breeding operation starts around mid-March). Very first vaginal smears were taken, stained and checked under microscope. The result – one of our females already in estrus. That means – time for first mating in 2014. So it happened that mink lady Vanessa was introduced to mink guy Indrek. They liked each other and mated at once. We kept them together for almost a week.
Good news comes also from Hiiumaa Island. My good colleague Madis Põdra came over from Spain to give start to the routine monitoring session in Hiiumaa Island, but not only …. . This year we have a plan to radio-collar 3 – 4 mink. Yes, the very same ones radio-tracked last year – have a look on previous blog. This time we collar them to share light to the spatial behaviour of mink during breeding season.
Some 3 days ago live-traps were setup to catch mink. We were lucky – already the second day gave us the first mink in trap, one of those released last year with collars. This male was caught from Luguse stream system, basically from the very same place it was released after removal of collar last autumn. It was good to see that it had even gained weight: last autumn it was 805 grams, now 850.It seems that mink are doing well in the island.

This mink really likes traps – as next morning after release our friend was again in the trap. We released it and removed all remaining traps from this area.

Third day (24.03.2014) had a nice follow-up. We got another mink, again the one collared in August last year. This one was living in small canal full of fish between sea and inland-bay called Kassari. The habitat looks ideal for mink in autumn, but as winter approaches the fish will abandon the canal and solid ice cover will make the remaining fish inaccessible for mink. This habitat was likely to be an ecological trap for our mink and because of this we released it to opposite side of the island to the small forest stream. Now we caught it again. One might have guessed that mink will lose lots of its weight during winter. Quite surprisingly, the opposite is true. At the time of the release in October last year the weight was bit more than 1000 grams, now it was 1200 grams – a lot for male European mink in the wild.

In the morning of the fourth day (25.03.2014) again nice surprise waited the fieldworkers. In one of the lifetraps was mink without microchip. That means – this male was born in the wild in 2013. It was very agressive and wild specimen, as if willing to prove its wild origin.

 

Some images from the wild:

 

 

 

Such live-traps with closed door during the inspection morning fills you with good feeling – the mink is probably inside!

 

 

 

The first male European mink caught and equiped with new radiocollar, waiting to be waken up from anesthesia and to be released back to his home stream.

 

 

Home stream of this male mink:

 

 

 

Release back to the wild: first careful glimpse out from live-trap.. then our mink rushed out, strainght into the water.

 

After refreshing long swim our mink on the bank, probably wondering what happened to him and what to do next …. actually a very  quick run away happened there after.

 

 

 


The end of radio-trapping operation: troublemakers and haunting questions.

Saturday (16.11.2013) the release and radio-tracking of the European mink in Hiiumaa Island was completed. 15 captive young mink from Tallinn Zoo Conservation Lab were released in the island and radiotracked for more than one and half month. The results of the release were interesting and evidenced remarkably increased release survival. However, the end of the release was a story by itself.
The collars may cause a lot of injuries when animals gain weight in late autumn, so the mink have to be caught and the collars removed. It might seem an easy job – the signal emitted by the transmitters help to locate the very spot of mink. Just set up live-traps in proper way and place along the bank on both sides of the mink location, equip traps with bait and …. voilà – the mink is in trap.
The real process was not so simple – here is the story of retrapping the mink in Hiiumaa Island in 2013.

At the end of the trapping session only 7 mink with collars remained under observations. Our task was to re-trap these 7 mink to remove the collars. The re-trapping was started on 23. of October, when the first collar was removed within one trap-night. On 26th of October the operation was continued and for five mink two traps for each were set up and the remaining one was hoped to get with three traps. The next day was the happy one – four mink in the traps and for the afternoon the collars were removed. Then the luck turned – to get the remaining two mink required notably more traps, nights and efforts. These two mink were simply not going to the traps, despite of all the efforts and long experience in trapping.

The knowledge of exact location of mink helped to set the traps up in the best available positions – real “do not go by” locations; and then the smelly oily smoked sardines as baits – usually very attractive to mink.

These two mink were simply not collaborating. Despite of all the efforts they just passed the traps as if these were non-existent. Even more, they were teasing us…. once it was possible to have a lengthy observation of the swimming mink in near vicinity of the trap.

Other obstacles became evident. In one trapping site close to farm nice black and white domestic cats caught the smell of oily sardines and after that it was impossible to friendly owner to keep the cats away from river bank and from our traps. We have to remove them. Actually, here the mink collaborated and moved upstream, so we followed it with our trapping effort. Then the Norway rats got an idea that the traps were just perfect for nests and they brought leaves and debris into traps till the door of the trap closed. Interestingly, the Norway rats close to water become real semiaquatic mammals. Looking as they jump into water, while escaping from trap, and dive, leaves no doubt – they are very skillful in water.

The time passed and then after some two weeks finally one of the trouble-makers went into trap and were freed from collar. The last one was a real “nuisance” – it just passed the traps – some ten of them in her homerange. We tried salmon instead of sardine as bait with no result. Then we took European mink scats and urine-moistured sand from the zoo to attract the animal – no results again. Finally, we left most of the live-traps empty – without bait. No result.

As a last hope we thought to make use live chick in box inside of livetrap to attract the animal. It was expected that the sound of chick is stimulus for mink strong enough to force her to go into the trap. The take care of the chick we decided to stay in visual distance from the trap, so it would be possible to get to the trap in time.

Then, when we arrived with chicks and equipment, the last troublemaker was in live-trap, without a bait at all in it. It took for us three weeks to get this bugger.

If you look on the graph, it is clear that there are differences in the behavior. Majority behaved like typical nice mink and got to traps as expected, but two .. who were these? Aliens? They were outliers, statistically speaking.. and outliers are important.

 

 

A number of speculative questions are rising from this experience:

1. A bit less than third of mink was very complicated to catch despite of their captive origin and ideal situation – we knew exactly the location of the animal. What it means if we use live-trapping as monitoring technique – that is when we even do not know where the animal exactly is? So far we have assumed that every animal have the same likelihood of getting trapped, or, at least, the variation has normal distribution. It is not. So how reliable are our monitoring data if the results depend upon the animals willing or not willing to go to trap? Does this proportion changes with years or with some other variable? We do not know.
2. What it all means in terms of conservation breeding and release operations? Is this around 1/3 ratio typical both for captive population and for wild population? Or it is higher in wild population and the natural selection in captivity actually favors trap-happy mink? Does the ratio  changes with time and duration release operation? What variables are having impact to the ratio? What means trap-happy versus -unhappy type in terms of survival in the wild, are the trap-unhappy type more likely to survive in the wild? Does it mean that if we conduct years-long release operation, we actually provide captive-biased animals for natural selection during release operation to select animals more trap-unhappy? Way more questions than replies.
3. Then, conservation breeding operations starts with founder animals trapped from the wild. Is the ratio of trap-happy and trap-unhappy mink among founder animals is strongly biased towards trap-happy animals? If yes, does it mean that the issue of founder effect in conservation breeding is way more complicated and perhaps overlooked. Again more questions than replies.

Field work with mink is good time after all. You have opportunity to be outside and see nice areas. Have a look at the photos.

 

 

The last troublemaker is in this photo. After removal of the collar it swiftly disappeared from opened trap like a shadow. Nice and good animals – good luck to her in streams of Day Island.

 

 

 

 

In summary, the mink, like all animals, are not simple pre-programmed biorobotes with easily predictable behaviours. They have their personalities, they learn, they change their behavior, and therefore, they are like us, humans, very different from each other. What holds for one person might not be fully correct for other … so lets be careful with our thinking models.

 


Russian field ecologist visiting Species Conservation Research Lab at Tallinn Zoo and Hiiumaa Island release site.

11. -12. of July leading Russian field-ecologist Alexander Saveljev, the Head of the Department of Animal Ecology at Russian Research Institute of Game Management and Fur Farming of Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The researchers (esp. Dr. Dmitri Skumatov) in his team have conducted the most comprehensive studies on the status and distribution of the European mink in Russia.

Dr. Saveljev visited the European mink breeding facility in the Lab and was given review about the European mink research and conservation actions in Estonia. The second day of his visit was devoted to Hiiumaa Island and the release operation there.

Hopefully this visit has established a good ground for future collaboration on European mink conservation and research between the Russian and Estonian experts.