Lutra 47(2)_Zabala et al_2004

The historical and current distribution of the Iberian population of the European mink (Mustela lutreola)

As most records of the European mink (Mustela lutreola) in the Iberian Peninsula have been published in local papers or remain as unpublished reports, it is difficult to determine its current distribution and to assess historical changes in its distribution. In this paper, we analyse data on the distribution of the European mink in the Iberian Peninsula. We conclude that the European mink most probably colonised the Iberian Peninsula in the late 1940’s. Since it was first reported, the European mink has been slowly but steadily expanding its range across the northern Iberian Peninsula, mainly southwards but recently also eastwards and, possibly, westwards. Possible explanations for the assumed expansion are briefly discussed.