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Species Of Minks

The American mink (Mustela vison) occurs throughout most of North America, except for parts of the arid southwest. This species lives in the vicinity of a wide range of aquatic habitats. Mink make their dens in hollows in fallen logs and under stumps, and in burrows taken over from a muskrat or beaver.

The natural range of the Eurasian mink (Mustela lutreola) extends through much of central Europe, Ukraine, Belarus, and western Russia, with a disjunct population in France. This species has become widely extirpated from much of its natural range, through a combination of habitat changes and excessive trapping.

The recently extinct sea mink (Mustela macrodon) was a relatively large species that occurred along marine shores in parts of northeastern North America. This species was initially rare, and it was quickly made extinct by overexploitation for its fur. Studies of its skeletal materials, which showed that the sea mink was a distinct species, were not actually conducted until after this animal had become extinct. The sea mink was about twice the size of the American mink, with a relatively large skull, and other special characters. The species appears to have disappeared from New England in the 1860s or An American mink (Mustela vison) in Flathead National Forest, in Montana. Photograph by Nancy Sanford. Stock Market. Reproduced by permission. so, and the last known animal was killed on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, in 1894.



Banfield, A.W.F. The Mammals of Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1974.

Dunstone, N. The Mink. UK: Poyser Press, 1993.

Grzimek, B., ed. Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. London: McGraw Hill, 1990.

Nowak, R.M., ed. Walker's Mammals of the World. 5th ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Wilson, D.E., and D. Reeder, compilers. Mammal Species of the World. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993.

Bill Freedman


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—A moist habitat that occurs in the vicinity of streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Methane to Molecular clockMink - Species of minks