Neovison macrodon


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Neovison macrodon
Species Authority: (Prentis, 1903)
Common Name(s):
English Sea Mink
Mustela macrodon Prentis, 1903
Taxonomic Notes: Commonly included in Mustela, separated according to Abramov (1999). Cytogenetic and biochemical data support placement of the American Mink and Sea Mink in the genus Neovison rather than in Mustela (Wozencraft 2005). The Sea Mink has been regarded as a subspecies of the American Mink, but Mead et al. (2000) and Wozencraft (2005) recognized it as a distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Turvey, S. & Helgen, K.
Reviewer(s): Duckworth, J.W. (Small Carnivore Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is Extinct. It was thought to have survived until about 1894 in New Brunswick (Campbell 1988, Nowak 1999), however, it was uncertain whether specimens belonged to this species or to M. vison. The most recent report (Mead et al. 2000) substantiates the validity of this species and records an estimated extinction date of 1860.
2002 Extinct

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Formerly occurred along the coasts of Canada (New Brunswick, Newfoundland) and in coastal eastern North America (Massachusetts, Maine). The Sea Mink apparently had been exterminated, last record collected in 1894 (Campbell 1988, Nowak 2005). Its range seems subsequently to have been occupied by M. vison (Nowak 1999).
Regionally extinct:
United States (Maine)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Extinct.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The sea mink reportedly made its home among the rocks along the ocean. The diet consisted mainly of fish and probably also included mollusks (Nowak 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species was hunted to extinction (fur trade).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None.

Bibliography [top]

Campbell, R. R. 1988. Status of the sea mink, Mustela macrodon, in Canada. Canadian Field-Naturalist 102: 304-306.

Mead, J. I., Spiess, A. E. and Sobolik, K. D. 2000. Skeleton of extinct North American sea mink (Mustela macrodon). Quaternary Research 53: 247-262.

Nowak, R. M. 2005. Walker’s Carnivores of the world. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA and London, UK.

Wozencraft, W.C. 2005. Order Carnivora. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: A taxonomic and geographic reference. Third Edition, pp. 532-628. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Turvey, S. & Helgen, K. 2008. Neovison macrodon. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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