American Mink

The American Mink is a small, predatory animal with short legs and a thin body. They have rounded ears, a pointed snout and a thick furry tail that makes up one third of their total body length. Being nocturnal, Mink can see well at night, but not so well underwater. They will locate their prey above water before diving below. A combination of partially webbed toes and a slim body allows these semi-aquatic carnivores to move with speed and agility on water and land.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Neovison vison
CLASSIFICATION
Mammal
LIFE SPAN
10-12 Years
SIZE
12-18 ” | 1-3.5 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • State Protected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Furbearer
GAME TYPE
Furbearer
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Mink are predatory animals that live in aquatic environments such as lakeshores, marshes, and stream banks.

  • Lakes and reservoirs
  • Marsh
  • Rivers and streams

Threats

  • Habitat Degradation

Natural History

The American Mink is an aquatic carnivore specializing in both aquatic and terrestrial animals. They are capable of taking down prey larger than themselves and will feed on small rodents, rabbits, fish, crawfish, frogs, snakes, and birds. Mink need a permanent water source to thrive and will make their dens in the banks of rivers or in previously abandoned burrows. Mink give birth in late spring to roughly four to five young, called “kits,” but litter sizes of up to 17 have been recorded! At six to eight weeks the young begin learning to hunt with the adults. In the fall, Mink will leave their parents to go establish their own territories.

Fun Facts

Mink have few natural predators, but can occasionally be killed by coyotes, bobcats, and other large carnivores. Female mink have delayed implantation of the embryo, allowing them to mate whenever they chance upon a male and become pregnant at a later date.