Degradation, fragmentation and destruction of the natural habitat of the European mink is a major threat for the conservation of its populations. Several actions are dedicated to protect its habitat.
Land acquisition and pre-emptive rights
To ensure sustainable preservation and restoration of the habitats of importance for the European mink, the LIFE VISON programme aims at purchasing fields thanks to the Charente-Maritime County Council and the implementation of pre-emptive areas in the sensitive natural areas in Charente-Maritime.
Acquisition of 30 hectares in Charente-Maritime
Implementation of 500 hectares of pre-emptive areas in Charente-Maritime
Providing management plans
Some work practices on plots of local land, located near watercourses, are not suitable for the preservation of the European mink. This is especially the case for cultivated plots, wood production plots and leisure activities areas.
The LIFE VISON programme will bring together the relevant local authorities in order to help them in management planning for nature conservation sites with an environmental approach.
Expected results: :
Providing 10 simplified management plans within the entire LIFE Vison area
Breeding sites protection
Breeding sites will be identified due to the monitoring of the radio-tracked individuals during breeding season. Similar sites which seem favourable for European mink in or out of the breeding season will also be identified. These areas of less than 1 hectare, called refuge areas, will be managed according to a list of specifications (implementation of fences against predation, maintenance of the vegetation…). The refuge areas may be implemented on public, private or collectivity plots.
Expected results: :
Implementation of 40 refuge areas near the Charente River and its tributaries.
The riparian woodlands and alluvial tall grass are habitats of community interest which provide refuges during the day for the European mink. However, these habitats are threatened by factors such as tree cutting, disruption & drying out of waterways.
Sedges, Swamp sawgrass and ponds are habitats characterized by a rich biodiversity. The food reserves are abundant in these habitats, so they are important for the preservation of the European mink, however they are threatened by the cultivation of fields, drainage and backfill.
Moreover, some of the flooded areas, rich in vegetation, are favorable to fish reproduction.
Restoration or creation of 25 ha of alluvial woodlands on the LIFE area
Restoration or creation of 20 ha of hygrophilous tall grasses, Sedges and Swamp sawgrass on the LIFE area
Restoration or creation of 10 ponds on the LIFE area
Restoration or creation of 2 spawning grounds in Charente and 3 in Charente-Maritime
Road collisions are one of the main explanations of European minks mortality. They are often the result of wildlife crossings not adapted for semi aquatic mammals. In fact, some of the works put in place were an obstacle for their movements favouring migratory fish.