Mink - Neovison vison

    Alternative names
    American Mink
    formerly Mustela vison

    The introduced American Mink has a slender body, short legs and a tail that is about a third of the body length. The thick, glossy fur can vary in colour but is generally dark brown or black and becomes darker in winter. It also has a pink nose.

    Similar Species

    Mink can be confused with Otters but are smaller and behave differently. The pink nose of the Mink is another difference.

    Identification difficulty

    Lives in aquatic habitats but can spend some time away from water and can even live near urban areas.

    When to see it

    All year round

    Life History

    American Mink, native to North America, were first introduced to fur farms in Britain in 1929; the first official record of escapees breeding in the wild was in 1957.

    UK Status

    Since its escape into the wild it has become quite common and has colonised most of Britain but some populations are now declining after the return of the native Otter.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map