Photo by Needsmoreritalin
The American mink, and its recently extinct cousin the sea mink (Neovison macrodon), have been the only true species of mink. The American mink was once considered a weasel in the genus Mustela, but its Latin name was recently changed to Neovison.
The American mink is a semiaquatic species native to North America. Between the 1920s and 1950s, American minks were imported to Europe, the USSR and southern South America for fur-farming purposes. Today in parts of Europe the American mink has been classified as an invasive species, linked to the decline of the European mink.
Due to selective breeding, farm-bred American minks can range in colour from beiges, greys; to a brown that is almost black. You’ll often see them portrayed as pure white in art and animation, but this colour too is only created through selective breeding. A mink’s natural colour in the wild is brown. In the wild, their diet consists of rodents, fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and birds.
If trained properly, American minks make excellent hunting companions, as demonstrated by The Mink Man Joseph Carter on his YouTube channel.
Size: 30-55 cm / 12-22 in (males), 30-38 cm / 12-15 in (females)
Weight: 500-1,580 g / 1-3 lb (males), 400-780 g / 1-2 lb (females)
Average Lifespan: 10 years
Range: North America (introduced to parts of Eurasia and South America)
Conservation Status: Least Concern