Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Age and Reproduction of Wild-Born and Escaped Mink (Neovison vison) Caught in Danish Nature

Version 1 : Received: 13 November 2020 / Approved: 16 November 2020 / Online: 16 November 2020 (11:47:54 CET)

How to cite: Pagh, S.; Pertoldi, C.; Chriel, M.; Jensen, T.H.; Jensen, T.H.; Madsen, S.; Kraft, D.C.E.; Schou, T.M.; Hansen, M.S. Age and Reproduction of Wild-Born and Escaped Mink (Neovison vison) Caught in Danish Nature. Preprints 2020, 2020110417 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0417.v1). Pagh, S.; Pertoldi, C.; Chriel, M.; Jensen, T.H.; Jensen, T.H.; Madsen, S.; Kraft, D.C.E.; Schou, T.M.; Hansen, M.S. Age and Reproduction of Wild-Born and Escaped Mink (Neovison vison) Caught in Danish Nature. Preprints 2020, 2020110417 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0417.v1).

Abstract

The feral mink population in Denmark consists of two groups of animals; mink born in the wild and mink that have recently escaped from farms. The aims of this study are; 1) to estimate the reproduction and mortality of wild-born and captive-born mink and 2) to estimate the age of mink based on the width of pulp cavity (% of tooth width) in the canine teeth. During 2018, 247 wild caught mink were sent for necropsy at the Danish National Veterinary Institute. Of these mink, 112 were determined as captive-born and 96 were determined wild-born. The mean litter size ± SE of wild-born females was 7.6 ± 0.9 (range: 5-11 kits) and for captive-born females 5.9 ± 0.9 (range: 1-10 kits). The best fitting regression line for mink age (in months) based on pulp width was y=0.42x2-11.52x+104.7, R² = 0.77, p< 0.0001. Individuals with a pulp cavity width <35% was found to be younger than one year. The turnover of mink caught in nature was estimated to 66% and the yearly mortality to 69%, therefore the population is slightly declining. In conclusion, a feral reproducing mink population in Denmark persists, besides the continues influx of captive-born mink escaped from farms.

Subject Areas

placental scars; demography; litter size; fecundity; turnover

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