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Mammals of Latvia
The exhibition features almost all mammal species inhabiting Latvia. Many of them are on the Latvian and European endangered species list.
The most widely represented order of Latvia mammals is rodents which includes 20 species. The largest rodent is the beaver, but the smallest is the harvest mouse whose prehensile tail helps it easily climb grass stems and shrubs. On display are also other species of small mammals inhabiting Latvia – the insectivores (hedgehog, mole and shrew) and the bats (three of the 16 bat species found in Latvia).
Carnivores are represented by the cat, dog, bear and marten families. The dog family is represented by the wolf, the fox and the raccoon dog. The wolf and the red fox are typical Latvian fauna, but the raccoon dog is indigenous to East Asia and was introduced in Latvia as a fur bearing animal. The only wild cat in Latvia is the lynx; the bear family is represented by the brown bear. The marten family is represented by the American mink and the European mink, the pine marten and the stone marten, the European polecat, the ermine, the weasel, the otter and the badger. The American mink has forced the European mink from its natural habitats. The American mink escaped from fur farms and has adapted to conditions in the wild of Latvia quite nicely.
The lagomorphs are represented by two species – the European brown hare and the Arctic hare.
The exposition is completed by a display of all hoofed mammals found in Latvia – the wild boar, the moose, the largest animal in Latvia, as well as the roe deer and the red deer.