Updated: 27.01.2011

Press Release of November 30, 1999



On December 1, 1999 the Bank of Latvia issued a silver collector coin featuring the European Mink as part oft he International Coin Programme Endangered Wildlife.

The European Mink is a small furbearing animal of the mustela erminea genus (stoat) of martes family (marten), with webbed feet and water-resistant fur. Its preferred habitats are in the vicinity of water. At dawn this agile brown animal with white chin can be spotted by quiet forest rivers and streams, on the banks of lakes overgrown with reeds, estuaries and old riverbeds. The European Mink is a good diver and swimmer, and usually inhabits a distinct area on riverbanks. For dwelling it uses the natural hiding places and holes abandoned by other animals. Sometimes it digs its own holes, insulating them with dry grass, moss and leaves. Care for their young, which are born in early summer, holds the parent-minks together until autumn, when the new generation leaves in search of a new territory. The mink is a predator; especially keen on prey living in water, yet it also consumes berries.

Due to its beautiful and valuable fur, the European Mink has been trapped since ancient times. Moreover, it is being ousted by its larger and more aggressive competitor, the American Mink (mustela vision). Until the middle of the 20th century, the population of the European Mink was dense in Latvia, but since 1994 no European Mink has been detected.
(After zoologist Z. Andersone)

This collector coin can be purchased at the Bank of Latvia.