Mink (Mustela vison)


Wild mink are more common than most people realize.

Distribution: adaptable to a wide range of climates; throughout Louisiana, from northern Canada and Alaska southward through all of U.S. except the Southwest

Habitat: near water; dens under fallen logs, hollow stumps, or in burrows created by other animals

Appearance: medium sized, long bodied, slender; adult weight about 2 pounds, length about 19 to 23 inches (1/3 of which is tail); long neck, short head, white chin, dark brown fur, 34 teeth

Reproduction: one litter per year, 3 to 4 kits, which are born blind (eyes open at 5 weeks), gestation can be as long as 75 days

Food habits: varies with area in which animal occurs; coastal mink eat aquatic life, such as fish, crabs, frogs, and crayfish; upland mink eat rabbits, rats, and birds

Habits: male minks have much larger territories than females (up to 25 miles)

Controls: prey of owls, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and dogs; parasites include flukes, roundworms, tapeworms, fleas, ticks, and lice

Values: mink prey heavily on muskrats, improving their genetic pool by preying on the weak and ill

BMPs for Trapping Mink