Protecting nature through research, education, and outreach

American Mink (Neovison vison)

MinkMink are found throughout Massachusetts except for Nantucket and perhaps Martha’s Vineyard. They live in forested areas near a water source, burrowing in the banks of rivers, lakes, and streams. Minks have even been known to utilize old dens of other mammals, such as muskrats.

The American Mink has a long, sleek body of about two feet long that is covered in dark brown fur with white patches on the chin, chest, and throat areas.

A mink’s tail makes up about one half of its total body length! Mostly active at night, minks are solitary animals that are highly skilled at swimming and climbing: while searching for food, they can swim up to 100 feet underwater and dive to depths of 16 feet! (Kurta 1995).

When a mink feels threatened, it is able to spray a foul-smelling liquid, like a skunk. Unlike skunks, however, minks are unable to control the aim of this spray. Mating occurs in the winter; gestation lasts for 40-75 days.

Mink babies are born in late spring (April or May) with a litter size of 1-8 cubs. Mink cubs will stay with their mothers until the fall before leading mostly solitary lives.

Mink Tracks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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