Mink Paw Print

 

Mink:

The mink is a medium-sized slender, long-bodied mammal somewhat similar to the weasel, except bigger. The mink has a small, flattened head, a long neck, short legs, and a well-furred tail. Ears are short and rounded. Color for both sexes is almost entirely brown, with a white chin, and irregular white spots on the throat, chest and belly. Total adult length ranges from 16 to 27 inches, with a weight of  1/4 to 3 1/4 pounds. Life expectancy in the wild is only around 2 years.

The basic requirement for minks is a habitat with permanent water. They will live on the banks of streams, rivers, shorelines of lakes, marshes and ponds. Minks make their homes under the roots of trees, under logs or stumps, in hollow trees, in muskrat burrows and lodges. They dig a tunnel about 1 foot deep, into a nest chamber lined with grass, leaves, fur and/or feathers. Male minks have about a 5 mile territorial range, with additional temporary den sites, which are used by other traveling males (not at the same time). Females have a smaller territorial area. Minks are chiefly nocturnal, but will come out at other times of the day. They do not hibernate. Minks are excellent swimmers, and can stay under water for fairly long periods. They also climb trees well. Minks are considered to be highly aggressive animals, often taking on much bigger opponents. They kill with a bite to the neck region.


Baby Mink
   

Food Preferences:

Predominantly carnivorous, preferring both aquatic creatures, such as fish and crayfish, and terrestrials, such as mice, rabbits, birds and muskrats. Most food is eaten soon after the kill; some is cached for later.



Juvenile Mink
   
Geographic Range:

Alaska south to Florida, except for desert regions.
   

Enemies:

Humans, dogs, owls, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, parasitic worms, protozoa, lice, mites, ticks, fleas, neurological disorders, distemper.



Adult Mink