Neovison vison 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Carnivora Mustelidae

Scientific Name: Neovison vison (Schreber, 1777)
Common Name(s):
English American Mink
Mustela vison Schreber, 1777
Taxonomic Notes: Commonly included in Mustela, separated accordingly to Abramov (2000). Cytogenetic and biochemical data support placement of the American Mink and Sea Mink in the genus Neovison rather than in Mustela (Wozencraft 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-03-01
Assessor(s): Reid, F., Schiaffini, M. & Schipper, J.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W.
This species is listed as Least Concern because it has a wide distribution and is relatively common across this range. Although local declines have occurred, the species is secure in many areas.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species occurs in North America from Alaska and Canada through the United States except Arizona and the dry parts of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and western Texas. The American Mink was deliberately introduced as a fur animal in Russia and in other parts of Europe. As a result of escapes and intentional releases, the species is now naturalised in many parts of Europe after very rapid increase in some countries but only uncertain colonisation of some others (Mitchell-Jones et al. 1999, Bonesi and Palazon 2007, Hegyeli and Kecskés 2014). Feral populations of American Mink also occur in Japan (Hokkaido; Kishimoto 2005) and in South America (Previtali et al. 1998) in southern Argentina and Chile (Jaksic et al. 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Canada; United States
Argentina; Austria; Belarus; Chile; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Lithuania; Montenegro; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia; Spain; Sweden; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Generally abundant throughout its distribution (Larivière 1999). Population density of about 1-8/km² have been recorded (Nowak 2005). In good habitat, density may be 9-22 per sq. mile (Banfield 1974).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found along streams and lakes as well as in swamps and marshes. It prefers densely vegetated areas. It dens under stones or the roots of trees, in expropriated beaver Castor or Muskrat Ondatra houses, or in self-excavated burrows (Nowak 2005). The species can be found in xeric habitats if food is abundant (Arnold and Fritzell 1990).
Strictly carnivorous, its diet reflects the local prey base (Ben-David et al. 1997). Typical prey are fish, amphibians, crustaceans, Muskrats, and small mammals (Day and Linn 1972, Chanin and Linn 1980, Birks and Dunstone 1985, Bueno 1994). Many other prey can be taken occasionally (Larievière 1999). Males have large home ranges that extend for a half mile or more along waterways and overlap with the smaller home ranges of several females (Wilson and Ruff 1999).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: For information on use and trade, see under Threats.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Wild populations of American Mink are still hunted for fur. Alteration of its habitat, namely densely vegetated river courses and other wetlands represents another potential threat to this species. The American Mink suffers from environmental pollution caused by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which may even cause infertility (Schreiber et al. 1989).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: American Mink is among the most important species in fur-fanning operations (Peterson 1966, Thompson 1968). It is among the most valuable fur animals; most of the mink fur used in commerce is produced on farms (Nowak 2005).

Citation: Reid, F., Schiaffini, M. & Schipper, J. 2016. Neovison vison. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41661A45214988. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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