Comparison of the Genetic Diversity between the Translocated Population of European Mink on Hiiumaa Island and the Captive Population at Tallinn Zoo

Between 2000 and 2016, European minks were translocated from the zoo to Hiiumaa Island with the aim of establishing a natural and viable population on the island. The study aimed to determine the genetic diversity differences between the European mink populations on Hiiumaa Island and at the zoo. It was found that the populations did not differ drastically from each other, and there is currently no need to increase genetic diversity of minks on Hiiumaa Island. Additionally, it was observed that the population on the island was mainly formed based on animals translocated there between 2010 and 2016.

The initial study was completed in collaboration with SA Lutreola in 2017, but later it was expanded and published as a scientific article titled “How was genetic diversity transferred with translocations from ex situ to in situ? A case study of the European mink translocation to Hiiumaa Island in Estonia” in the journal Zoo Biology in 2023.

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