An attempt to introduce the European mink to the southern Kurile Islands failed to establish a population, but a small breeding population of 100 was established on an island in Estonia.
From 1981 to 1989, the European mink was introduced to southern Kurile Islands of Kunashir and Iturup, Russia, and Tajikistan, far away from the native distribution range. This introduction was unsuccessful; no stable populations were established in these islands.
In an attempt to save the European mink, British and Estonian biologists established a breeding population on an island in the Baltic Sea in 2000. The establishment of this island population in Estonia has resulted in a small breeding population of fewer than 100 individuals in Hiiumaa Island.