The mink - profile


Surname: Mink
Other names: European mink and American mink
Latin name: Mustela lutreola or Neovison vison
class: Mammals
size: 30 - 45cm
mass: 0.5 - 2.5kg
Older: 4 - 10 years
Appearance: dark brown coat
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: Duck, seagull, rabbit, rabbit, insects, amphibians
distribution: Europe, Asia, North America
original origin: Europe or North America
Sleep-wake rhythm: twilight and nocturnal
habitat: Riparian region on standing and flowing waters with dense vegetation
natural enemies: ?
sexual maturity: towards the end of the first year of life
mating season: February - April
gestation: 40 - 80 days
litter size: 2 - 10 cubs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting about the mink

  • The minks describe a two-species genus within the marten.
  • A distinction is made between the European mink or Mustela lutreola and the American mink, Mink or Neovison vison.
  • Both mink species share their semi-aquatic lifestyle.
  • The American mink was originally only native to North America, as some specimens were released from mink farms or fled, but today it is also found in Europe and Asia.
  • The European mink, on the other hand, was originally inhabited almost everywhere in Europe, but due to intense persecution it is now almost extinct in Central Europe. Only in the Danube delta and some regions of France, Belarus and Spain do European minks still live. However, these are threatened by the Minks, which dispute their habitat.
  • Both types of mink are their dense and water-repellent dark brown fur and the typical marten-like stature in common.
  • Minks have an elongated and slender body with short legs. They are perfectly adapted to their life in the water with the webbed toes.
  • Minks always stay close to flowing or stagnant water. They are found in streams, rivers, lakes or ponds as well as in coastal waters.
  • Important is a lush riparian vegetation and the presence of caves and crevices.
  • Minks are talented predators that feed mainly on waterfowl such as gulls, moorhens and ducks, as well as their mates and chicks. In addition, they also capture rodents, mouse weasels and stoats, rabbits and young rabbits, insects and amphibians.
  • Depending on the species, the mating season extends from February to April. In the summer, after almost two months of gestation, the females give birth to several blind juveniles, usually nursed for two and a half months and fully mature at the latest six months.
  • The life expectancy of the mink is about seven years, with captive animals living up to ten years old.
  • Both species of mink are hunted for their precious coat, which scores high in the fur industry. Since the twenties of the last century, American minks have been selectively bred in fur farms.