Our species conservation research lab is responsible for scientific research in Tallinn Zoo.  The necessity to establish such a lab came from the management of European mink captive population as well as from the actions aiming to establish a safe European mink population in Hiiumaa Island.

This establishment of European mink island population and its management are the most outstanding achievements of our lab in the field of practical species conservation.

In research, our lab collaborates with various universities and research institutions.  Our partners have been, among others, the Estonian University of Life Sciences, the Tallinn University and the University of Tartu, the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, the Kuopio University, the Helsinki University and the Stockholm University.

Our lab has a very close collaboration also with the foundation “Lutreola”. In 2014, the lab moved into new building. The construction was funded by project called “Tallinn Zoo and Species Conservation Laboratory“.


During 2016 and 2017, a new complex for European mink captive population will be constructed. This project also funds the acquisition of DNA laboratory equipment for our lab. The funding for these actions comes from project „European mink breeding facility and equipment for DNA lab”. 

Since 2015, our lab develops research in three directions. These are (a) the species conservation  (b) animal well-fare and (c) genetic forensic. The research focuses into four areas:

1.    Reintroduction biology
2.    Ex situ populations: biology and reproduction
3.    Animal well-fare
4.    Genetic studies
5.    Biobanking
6.    The analysis of zoo species collection

In addition, the lab analyses our zoo species collection and keeps animal records in global on-line zoological information database (www.zims.org).


Photo: Tiit Maran

More about European mink here.

The laboratory cooperates with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC).  In 2014, our lab organized IUCN SSC meeting in Tallinn. The materials of the meeting are available here. There is also a close cooperation between our lab and the IUCN Redlist authorities.

The list of articles prepared with the involvement of our lab are here.

The head of the lab is Tiit Maran (PHD).


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  • Indoor expositions *
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Indoor exhibitions are closed on Mondays. The zoo's territory is open for walking until 7 PM.

How to get here

Paldiski mnt. 145 – North Entrance

From Tallinn city centre (Kaubamaja) bus no. 42 (Bus stop Zoo) From Freedom square (Vabaduse väljak) buses no. 22, 41, and 42 (Bus stop Zoo) From Railway station (Balti jaam) buses no. 21, 41, and 43 (Bus stop Zoo)

Ehitajate tee 150 – West Entrance

From Tallinn city centre (Kaubamaja) bus no. 42 (Bus stop Karikakra or Nurmenuku) From Railway station (Balti jaam) bus no. 43 (Bus stop Karikakra, Nurmenuku or Zoo) Buses no. 10, 12, 13, 28, 37, 45, 46, 47

Zoo map


E-R +372 6943 300; Emergency: 512 69 65

Ehitajate tee 150/Paldiski mnt. 145
Tallinn 13522, Estonia

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