American Mink

Scientific Name:

Neovision vision

Type:

Mammal

Habitat:

Forest and shrubland near water sources, as well as wetlands

Range:

Alaska, Canada, and every state in the continental U.S. except for Arizona

Status:

Least Concern (IUCN Red List)

This species is

NATIVE

to the Truckee Meadows.

Identification:

American mink, relatives of otters and beavers, have long slender bodies that are around 2 feet in length. Their short legs have semi-webbed toes, helping them to be excellent swimmers. These mink have dark glossy fur usually with a patch of white under the chin. American mink are solitary and therefore most often seen alone.

Fast Facts:

  • American mink are carnivores, meaning they eat meat, and can dive to depths of up to 20 feet to catch prey.

  • American mink communicate through visual, auditory, and chemical cues. They will mark their territories by secreting a musky scent from anal glands that communicates to other mink the extent of their ranges.

  • American mink have highly valuable pelts and are therefore bred on farms to supply this demand. Some of these farmed mink escape in areas to which they aren't native, sometimes outcompeting that area's native species.

  • In the Paiute language, American mink are called Payona’a. 

Sources:

Contributor(s):

Haley McGuire (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

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