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


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

UK Map