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The Info List - American Mink


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15, see text

N. v. vison N. v. aestuarina N. v. aniakensis N. v. energumenos N. v. evagor N. v. evergladensis N. v. ingens N. v. lacustris N. v. letifera N. v. lowii N. v. lutensis N. v. melampeplus N. v. mink N. v. nesolestes N. v. vulgivaga

American mink
American mink
range in North America

Native (red) and introduced (pink) range of American mink

The American mink
American mink
( Neovison
Neovison
vison) is a semiaquatic species of mustelid native to North America, though human intervention has expanded its range to many parts of Europe
Europe
and South America. Because of range expansion, the American mink
American mink
is classed as a least-concern species by the IUCN.[1] Since the extinction of the sea mink, the American mink
American mink
is the only extant member of the genus Neovison. The American mink
American mink
is a carnivore that feeds on rodents, fish, crustaceans, frogs, and birds. In its introduced range in Europe
Europe
it has been classified as an invasive species linked to declines in European mink, Pyrenean desman, and water vole populations. It is the animal most frequently farmed for its fur, exceeding the silver fox, sable, marten, and skunk in economic importance.[3]

Contents

1 Indigenous names 2 Evolution

2.1 Subspecies

3 Description

3.1 Build 3.2 Fur 3.3 Locomotion 3.4 Senses and scent glands

4 Behaviour

4.1 Social and territorial behaviours 4.2 Reproduction and development 4.3 Diet 4.4 Relationships with other predators

5 Intelligence 6 Range

6.1 Natural 6.2 Introduced

6.2.1 Mainland Europe
Europe
and British Isles 6.2.2 Former USSR 6.2.3 Iceland 6.2.4 South America

7 Diseases and parasites 8 Decline of wild mink 9 Relationships with humans

9.1 Fur use

9.1.1 Trapping 9.1.2 Farming

9.1.2.1 Colour mutations

9.2 As pets 9.3 Literature

10 See also 11 References

11.1 Notes 11.2 Bibliography

12 External links

Indigenous names[edit]

Aleut: ilgitux̂[4] Blackfoot: aapssiiyai'kayi or soyii'kayi[5] Chickasaw: okfincha[6] Chipewyan: tthełjus[7] Cree: sâkwes Lakhota: ikhúsą[8][9] Lushootseed: c̓əbál̓qid or bə́ščəb[10] Salish: c̓xlicn̓ Ojibwe: zhaanggweshi[11] Tuscarora: θenę́·ku·t[12]

Evolution[edit] As a species, the American mink
American mink
represents a more specialized form than the European mink
European mink
in the direction of carnivory, as indicated by the more developed structure of the skull.[13] Fossil records of the American mink
American mink
go back as far as the Irvingtonian, though the species is uncommon among Pleistocene
Pleistocene
animals. Its fossil range corresponds with the species' current natural range. The American minks of the Pleistocene
Pleistocene
did not differ much in size or morphology from modern populations, though a slight trend toward increased size is apparent from the Irvingtonian through to the Illinoian and Wisconsinan periods.[14] Although superficially similar to the European mink, studies indicate the American mink's closest relative is the Siberian weasel
Siberian weasel
(kolonok) of Asia. The American mink
American mink
has been recorded to hybridize with European minks and polecats in captivity, though the hybrid embryos of the American and European minks are usually reabsorbed.[15] Subspecies[edit] As of 2005[update],[16] 15 subspecies are recognised.

Subspecies Trinomial authority Description Range Synonyms

Eastern or little black mink N. v. vison (Nominate subspecies)

Schreber, 1777 The smallest subspecies[17] Eastern Canada, west to Hudson Bay; south in interior to Catskill Mountains, New York, and to northern Pennsylvania altaica (Ternovskii, 1958) borealis (Brass, 1911) nigrescens (Audubon and Bachman, 1854) tatarica (Popov, 1949) winingus (Baird, 1858)

California
California
lowland mink N. v. aestuarina Ginnell, 1916 Resembles N. v. energumenos, but smaller and has paler, less dense fur[17] Lowlands of west-central California; west to Petaluma and Marin Counties

N. v. aniakensis Burns, 1964

Western or Pacific mink N. v. energumenos Bangs, 1896 A small and dark coloured subspecies with dark sooty-brown fur, the males measure 24 inches (61 cm) in body length and 8.2 inches (21 cm) in tail length[17] Western North America, from British Columbia
British Columbia
south to the Sierra Nevada
Nevada
mountains in California
California
and Rocky Mountains
Rocky Mountains
in New Mexico

N. v. evagor Hall, 1932

Everglades mink N. v. evergladensis Hamilton, 1948

Alaska
Alaska
mink N. v. ingens Osgood, 1900 The largest subspecies, it resembles N. v. energumenos, but is lighter in colour. Males measure 28.8 inches (73 cm) in body length and 7.2 inches (18 cm) in tail length[17] Northern, western and central Alaska; northern Yukon
Yukon
and northwestern Mackenzie; south to the Alaska
Alaska
Peninsula and to Fort Good Hope

Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
mink N. v. lacustris Preble, 1902 It has dark chocolate-brown fur above with white on the chin and irregularly distributed on the breast and between the hind legs. Males measure 27 inches (69 cm) in body length and 8 inches (20 cm) in tail length.[17] Interior of Canada
Canada
from Great Bear Lake
Great Bear Lake
and the western shores of Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
south through Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba
Manitoba
to southern North Dakota

Mississippi
Mississippi
Valley mink N. v. letifera Hollister, 1913 It has a light brown coat with white spots on the chin, throat and breast. Males measure 26 inches (66 cm) in body length and 9.4 inches (24 cm) in tail length.[17] Northern Wisconsin
Wisconsin
and northern South Dakota
South Dakota
south to northern Illinois, northern Missouri, and southern Kansas

N. v. lowii Anderson, 1945

Florida
Florida
mink N. v. lutensis Bangs, 1898 A medium-sized subspecies, it has a pale, russet to clay or reddish-brown coat. Males measure 23 inches (58 cm) in body length and 8 inches (20 cm) in tail length.[17] Coast of southeastern United States
United States
from South Carolina
South Carolina
to Florida

Kenai mink N. v. melampeplus Elliot, 1904 Darker than energumenos, it has dark chocolate-coloured fur with slightly paler underparts and a white spot on the chin. Males measure 28 inches (71 cm) in body length and 7.2 inches (18 cm) in tail length.[17] Kenai Peninsula
Kenai Peninsula
and Cook Inlet

Common mink N. v. mink

Peale and Palisot de Beauvois, 1796 A larger and more robust form than N. v. vison, it has similar colouration. Males measure 25.5 inches (65 cm) in total length and 8.5 inches (22 cm) in tail length.[17] Eastern United States, from the coast of New England
New England
south to North Carolina and in the interior to central Georgia and Alabama; westward through southern Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
and Ohio
Ohio
to Missouri
Missouri
and northeastern Texas lutreocephala (Harlan, 1825) rufa (Hamilton-Smith, 1858)

Island mink N. v. nesolestes Heller, 1909 Intermediate in size between N. v. ingens and N. v. energumenos, it has rather dark fur. The fur is Van Dyke brown, lighter on the cheeks and sides and darker on the tail. The underparts are walnut brown and white on the chin, with irregular white spots or areas on the throat, chest, inner arms, and abdomen. Males measure 24.5 inches (62 cm) in body length and 7.3 inches (19 cm) in tail length.[17] Admiralty Island, Alexander Archipelago

Southern mink N. v. vulgivaga

Bangs, 1895 It resembles N. v.mink, but is paler and smaller, with light brown, rich and lustrous fur which darkens at the end of the tail. Males measure 24.5 inches (62 cm) in body length and 7.5 inches (19 cm) in tail length.[17] Coast of Louisiana
Louisiana
and Mississippi

Description[edit] Build[edit]

Skeleton of an American mink
American mink
from the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle

Skull, as illustrated by N. N. Kondakov.

American mink
American mink
with porcupine quills in its face. Yarmouth, NS

The American mink
American mink
differs from members of the genus Mustela
Mustela
(stoats and weasels) by its larger size and stouter form, which closely approach those of martens. It shares with martens a uniformly enlarged, bushy and somewhat tapering tail, rather than a slenderly terete tail with an enlarged bushy tip, as is the case in stoats.[18] The American mink
American mink
is similar in build to the European mink, but the tail is longer (constituting 38–51% of its body length).[19] The American mink
American mink
has a long body, which allows the species to enter the burrows of prey. Its streamlined shape helps it to reduce water resistance whilst swimming.[20] The skull is similar to that of the European mink, but is more massive, narrower, and less elongated, with more strongly developed projections and a wider, shorter cranium. The upper molars are larger and more massive than those of the European mink.[21] The dental formula is:

Dentition

3.1.3.1

3.1.3.2

Domestic mink, which are bred in fur farms and are substandard genetically, have 19.6% smaller brains, 8.1% smaller hearts, and 28.2% smaller spleens than wild mink.[22][23] The feet are broad, with webbed digits.[18] It generally has eight nipples, with one pair of inguinal teats and three pairs of abdominal teats.[19] The adult male's penis is 2.2 in (5.6 cm) long, and is covered by a sheath. The baculum is well-developed, being triangular in cross section and curved at the tip.[20] Males measure 13–18 in (34–45 cm) in body length, while females measure 12–15 in (31–37.5 cm). The tail measures 6–10 inches (15.6–24.7 cm) in males and 6–8 in (14.8–21.5 cm) in females. Weights vary with sex and season, with males being heavier than females. In winter, males weigh 1–3 lb (500–1,580 g) and females 1–2 lb (400–780 g) Maximum heaviness occurs in autumn.[13]

American mink
American mink
paws, as illustrated by Ernest Thompson Seton

Fur[edit] The American mink's winter fur is denser, longer, softer, and more close-fitting than that of the European mink. The winter fur's tone is generally very dark blackish-tawny to light-tawny. Colour is evenly distributed over all the body, with the lower side being only slightly lighter than the upper body. The guard hairs are bright and dark-tawny, often approaching black on the spine. The underfur on the back is very wavy and greyish-tawny with a bluish tint. The tail is darker than the trunk and sometimes becomes pure black on the tip. The chin and lower lip are white. Captive individuals tend to develop irregular white patches on the lower surface of their bodies, though escaped individuals from Tartaria gradually lost these patches. The summer fur is generally shorter, sparser and duller than the winter fur.[19] The thick underfur and oily guard hairs render the pelage water-resistant, with the length of the guard hairs being intermediate between those of otters and polecats, thus indicating the American mink is incompletely adapted to an aquatic life. It moults twice a year, during spring and autumn.[20] It does not turn white in winter.[24] A variety of different colour mutations have arisen from experimental breeding on fur farms.[15] Locomotion[edit] On land, the American mink
American mink
moves by a bounding gait, with speeds of up to 6.5 km/h (4.0 mph). It also climbs trees and swims well.[25] During swimming, the mink propels itself primarily through undulating movements of the trunk. When diving, it undergoes a state of rapid bradycardia, which is likely an adaptation to conserve oxygen.[20] In warm water (24 °C (75 °F)), the American mink can swim for three hours without stopping, but in cold water it can die within 27 minutes.[26] It generally dives to depths of 12 in (30 cm) for 10 seconds, though depths of 3 m lasting 60 seconds have been recorded. It typically catches fish after five- to 20-second chases.[25] Senses and scent glands[edit] The American mink
American mink
relies heavily on sight when foraging. Its eyesight is clearer on land than underwater. Its auditory perception is high enough to detect the ultrasonic vocalisations (1–16 kHz) of rodent prey. Its sense of smell is comparatively weak. Its two anal glands are used for scent marking, either through defecation or by rubbing the anal region on the ground. The secretions of the anal glands are composed of 2,2-dimethylthietane, 2-ethylthietane, cyclic disulfide, 3,3-dimethyl-1,2-dithiacyclopentane, and indole. When stressed, the American mink
American mink
can expel the contents of its anal glands at a distance of 12 in (30 cm).[20] Scent glands may also be located on the throat and chest.[27] The smell produced by these scent glands was described by Clinton Hart Merriam
Clinton Hart Merriam
as more unbearable than that produced by skunks, and added it was "one of the few substances, of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin, that has, on land or sea, rendered me aware of the existence of the abominable sensation called nausea".[28] Behaviour[edit] Social and territorial behaviours[edit]

A southern mink (N. v. vulgivagus) in a threatening posture

American mink
American mink
emerges from a pond.

American mink
American mink
territories are held by individual animals with minimal intrasex overlap, but with extensive overlap between animals of the opposite sex. Most territories are in undisturbed, rocky coastal habitats with broad littoral zones and dense cover. Some are on estuaries, rivers and canals near urban areas. Home ranges are typically 1–6 kilometres (0.62–3.73 miles) long, with male territories larger than females'.[25] As long as it is close to water, the American mink
American mink
is not fussy about its choice of den. Mink
Mink
dens typically consist of long burrows in river banks, holes under logs, tree stumps, or roots and hollow trees, though dens located in rock crevices, drains, and nooks under stone piles and bridges are occasionally selected. The burrows they dig themselves are typically about four inches in diameter and may continue along for 10–12 feet (300–370 cm) at a depth of 2–3 feet (61–91 cm). The American mink
American mink
may nest in burrows dug previously by muskrats, badgers and skunks, and may also dig dens in old ant hills. The nesting chamber is at the end of a four-inch tunnel, and is about a foot in diameter. It is warm, dry, and lined with straw and feathers.[29] The American mink's dens are characterized by a large number of entrances and twisting passages. The number of exits varies from one to eight.[26] The American mink
American mink
normally only vocalises during close encounters with other minks or predators. The sounds it emits include piercing shrieks and hisses when threatened and muffled chuckling sounds when mating. Kits squeak repeatedly when separated from their mothers.[27] Ernest Thompson Seton reported hearing minks growl and snarl when confronting a threat.[30] During aggressive interactions, this mink asserts its dominance by arching its back, puffing up, and lashing its tail, stamping and scraping the ground with its feet, and opening its mouth in a threat-gape. Should this be unsuccessful, fights may result, with injuries to the head and neck.[27]

American mink
American mink
in a burrow

Reproduction and development[edit]

American mink
American mink
kits

The American mink
American mink
is a promiscuous animal that does not form pair bonds.[25] The start of mating season ranges from February in its southern range to April in the north.[20] In its introduced range, the American mink
American mink
breeds one month earlier than the European mink.[31] Males commonly fight during the mating season, which may result in the formation of loose, temporary dominance hierarchies governing access to receptive females.[25] The mating season lasts for three weeks, with ovulation being induced by the presence of males. The mating process is violent, with the male typically biting the female on the nape of the neck and pinning her with his forefeet. Mating
Mating
lasts from 10 minutes to four hours. Females are receptive for seven- to 10-day intervals during the three-week breeding season, and can mate with multiple males. Along with the striped skunk, the American mink
American mink
is among the only mammals to mate in spring that have a short delay before implantation. This delayed implantation allows pregnant minks to keep track of environmental conditions and select an ideal time and place for parturition.[20] The gestation period lasts from 40 to 75 days, with actual embryonic development taking place after 30–32 days, indicating delayed implantation can last from eight to 45 days. The young are born from April to June, in litters consisting of four kits on average.[20] The litters are often multiply sired.[32] Exceptionally large litters of 11 kits have been recorded in Tartaria and 16 in the United States.[31] The kits are blind at birth, weighing six grams and possessing a short coat of fine, silver-white hairs.[20] The kits are dependent on their mother's milk, which contains 3.8% lipids, 6.2% protein, 4.6% lactose and 10.66% mineral salts.[31] Their eyes open after 25 days, with weaning occurring after five weeks. The kits begin hunting after eight weeks of age, but stay close to their mother until autumn, when they become independent. Sexual maturity is attained during the kit's first spring, when they are about 10 months old.[20] Diet[edit]

American mink
American mink
with fish, in Norway

The American mink
American mink
is a carnivorous animal that feeds on rodents, fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and birds. It kills vertebrate prey by biting the back of the head or neck, leaving canine puncture marks 9–11 mm (0.35–0.43 in) apart.[33] The American mink often kills birds, including larger species like seagulls and cormorants, by drowning. In its natural range, fish are its primary prey. Although inferior to the North American river otter
North American river otter
in hunting fish, Audubon and Bachman once reported seeing a mink carrying a foot-long trout. Mink
Mink
inhabiting the prairie sloughs primarily target frogs, tadpoles, and mice.[34] It is a formidable predator of muskrats, which are chased underwater and killed in their own burrows. Among the rodents killed by the American mink
American mink
in its native range are rats and mice of the genera Hesperomys, Microtus, Sigmodon, and Neotoma. Marsh rabbits are frequently taken in marshy or swampy tracts.[35] In Tartaria, the American mink's most important food items are voles, fish, crustaceans, frogs, and aquatic insects. In winter, aquatic foods predominate, while land-based prey increases in importance during the spring. Within the Altai Mountains, the American mink
American mink
feeds predominantly on mammals such as rodents, shrews, and moles, as well as birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Among the 11 different bird species preyed upon by minks in Altai are dippers and pine grosbeaks. Among fish, small species predominate in the diet of minks in Altai, and include; minnows, gudgeons, and wide-headed sculpins. In the Sverdlovsk and Irkutsk Oblasts, mouse-like rodents are their most important foods, followed by birds, fish and insects. In the Russian Far East, where crustaceans are scarce, the American mink
American mink
feeds extensively on amphipods.[36] In the British Isles, dietary composition varies seasonally and regionally. European rabbits are the most commonly taken prey in areas where they are common, especially in summer. A range of small rodents and insectivores are preyed upon, but to a lesser degree. European hares are occasionally attacked. Minks in Britain prey on several bird species, with ducks, moorhens, and coots being most frequently targeted on lakes and rivers, while gulls are taken in coastal habitats. Aquatic species preyed upon in Britain include European eels, rock-pool fish such as blenny, shore crabs and crayfish.[37] American minks have been implicated in the decline of the water vole in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and linked to the decline of waterfowl across their range in Europe. They are now considered vermin in much of Europe
Europe
and are hunted for the purpose of wildlife management.[38] In the Cape
Cape
Horn Biosphere Reserve, mammals, including both native and exotic rodents, are the American mink's main prey throughout the year, though birds are of equal importance during their summer nesting periods.[39] The American mink
American mink
may pose a threat to poultry. According to Clinton Hart Merriam[40] and Ernest Thompson Seton,[41] although the American mink is a potential poultry thief, it is overall less damaging than the stoat. Unlike the stoat, which often engages in surplus killing, the mink usually limits itself to killing and eating one fowl during each attack. Studies in Britain indicate poultry and game birds only constitute 1% of the animals' overall diets;[37] small mammals, especially rabbits, tend to dominate, followed by fish and birds, especially moorhens and coots.[42] Relationships with other predators[edit] The American mink
American mink
replaces and sometimes kills the European mink wherever their ranges overlap.[43] The decline of European mink populations seems to coincide with the spread of the American mink.[44] The diets of the American mink
American mink
and European otter
European otter
overlap to a great extent. In areas where these two species are sympatric, competition with the otter for fish causes the American mink
American mink
to hunt land-based prey more frequently.[45] Intelligence[edit] An early behavioral study was performed in the 1960s to assess visual learning ability in minks, ferrets, skunks, and house cats. Animals were tested on their ability to recognize objects, learn their valences and make object selections from memory. Minks were found to outperform ferrets, skunks, and cats in this task, but this letter (short paper) fails to account for a possible conflation of a cognitive ability (decision making, associative learning) with a largely perceptual ability (invariant object recognition).[46] Range[edit] Natural[edit] The species' natural range encompasses North America
North America
from Alaska
Alaska
and Canada
Canada
through the United States
United States
except Arizona
Arizona
and the more arid areas of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and West Texas.[1] Introduced[edit] Mainland Europe
Europe
and British Isles[edit] Feral American minks in Europe
Europe
are thought to be of domesticated stock derived from the N. v. vison, N. v. melampeplus and N. v. ingens subspecies. The first specimens were imported to Europe
Europe
in 1920 for fur-farming purposes. The American mink
American mink
was introduced in Italy
Italy
in the 1950s, and currently resides mostly in the northeastern part of the Italian Peninsula. The majority of these populations do not appear to be self-sufficient, though minks in the Monti Prenestini and Simbruini in Lazio
Lazio
have reproduced successfully.[47] Escapees of fur farming farms established a self-sustaining and expanding population in the Iberian peninsula
Iberian peninsula
by the second half of the 20th century. In 2013, the Spanish government announced an eradication plan of the species,[48] as a means to protect the falling populations of European mink
European mink
and other endangered species affected such as the Pyrenean desman. The first mink farm in Norway
Norway
was built in 1927, with escapees establishing wild populations within 30 years of its establishment. The first feral mink populations arose in 1930, establishing territories in southwestern Norway. These feral minks, augmented by further escapees, formed the basis of a strong population in Hordaland by the end of World War II. Feral mink colonised eastern Norway
Norway
in 1930 and had become established in most southeastern counties in the early 1940s. By 1950, feral mink reached central Norway, with further populations occurring in the northern counties of Nordland
Nordland
and Troms. During the post- World War II
World War II
period until 1965, mink had colonised most of the country. In modern times, the American mink
American mink
occupies all of the Norwegian mainland, but is absent on some islands.[49] The American mink
American mink
was first imported to Great Britain
Great Britain
in 1929, though a series of escapes and releases lead to the establishment of a self-sufficient feral population in Devon
Devon
by the late 1950s, and others by the early 1960s. In Ireland, the American mink
American mink
was not farmed until the early 1950s, thus feral populations established themselves there much later. The species is now widespread in mainland Great Britain
Great Britain
and Ireland, though some places remain uncolonised. It has established itself on a few islands, including Arran and Lewis and Harris.[25] Until 2005, mink hunting with packs of hounds occurred in the UK. The total mink population in Great Britain
Great Britain
is estimated at 110,000 (England; 46,750, Scotland; 52,250, Wales; 9,750). This population may be declining as European otter
European otter
numbers increase. There are no estimates for the mink population in Ireland, but it is thought to be low, because of Ireland's strong otter population.[50] Former USSR[edit]

An American mink
American mink
in Lithuania's Kėdainiai
Kėdainiai
district

In 1933, American minks were released into the Voronezh Oblast
Voronezh Oblast
in European Russia. Until 1963, more minks were introduced in various quantities in the Voronezh and Arkhangelsk Oblasts, Karelia, in Kalininsk, Gorkovsk, Volgograd and Chelyabinsk Oblasts, and into Tatarstan
Tatarstan
and Bashkir, as well as the Lithuanian and Byelorussian SSRs. Beyond the Urals, American minks were introduced in the Sverdlovsk, Tyumen, Omsk, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Chita and Irkutsk Oblasts, in the Altai and Krasnoyarsk Krai, in the Tuvan, Buryat and Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics, into the Magadan, Kamchatka and Amur Oblasts, into the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Krai, into the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
and several other locations, including Sakhalin
Sakhalin
and Urup Island. In the Caucasus region, American minks were released into North Ossetia. In Central Asia they were released in the Tien Shan
Tien Shan
region. Originally, captive-bred minks were used, but wild specimens were later released to facilitate the species' acclimatisation within Soviet territories. Several years after the first release, introductions into the ranges already held by native European minks were discontinued, with most releases from then on taking place in Siberia and the Far East. Although considerable areas were occupied by the American mink
American mink
by the early 1960s, the species' Soviet range was never continuous, as most released populations were isolated from one another.[51] Iceland[edit] The species has been present in Iceland
Iceland
since the 1930s, and has become well established, despite it being heavily hunted since 1939. However, its population underwent a 42% decline during the years 2002–2006, which coincided with a decline in sandeel populations resulting in a drop in the seabird populations on which the minks feed.[52] South America[edit] The American mink
American mink
was deliberately introduced for commercial fur production in several provinces of Patagonia
Patagonia
in 1930. The animals escaped or were released from farms in Chubut Province
Chubut Province
and now occur in the Chubut and Río Negro Provinces and Tierra del Fuego.[53] Diseases and parasites[edit] The American mink
American mink
often carries light tick and flea infestations. Tick species known to infest minks include Ixodes hexagonus, Ixodes canisuga, Ixodes ricinus, and Ixodes acuminatus. Flea
Flea
species known to infest minks include Palaeopsylla minor, Malaraeus penicilliger, Ctenopthalmus noblis, Megabothris walkeri, Typhloceras poppei, and Nosopsyllus fasciatus. Endoparasites include Skrjabingylus nasicola and Troglotrema acutum.[50] Trematode Metorchis conjunctus
Metorchis conjunctus
can also infect American minks.[54] Transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) is a prion disease of mink, similar to BSE in cattle and scrapie in sheep. A 1985 outbreak of TME in Stetsonville, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
resulted in a 60% mortality rate for the minks.[55] Further testing revealed this agent is transmissible between mink, cattle, and sheep. The Stetsonville outbreak may have been due to the animals being fed the carcasses or otherwise consuming other infected animals.[56] Decline of wild mink[edit] Because of numerous incidents of domestic mink escaping from fur farms and establishing themselves in the wild, concern has arisen among conservationists of the possible repercussions such escapes may have on natural wild mink populations. Domestic mink are larger than wild mink, which may cause problems with the ecosystem when they escape. Minks are solitary, territorial animals and are intolerant of other minks. In times of overpopulation, they control their own numbers by either killing each other through direct conflict or by causing weaker minks to be driven from territory until starvation sets in.[57] When hundreds or thousands of released domestic minks flood an ecosystem, it causes a great disturbance for the wild minks, resulting in the deaths of the majority of the released mink and many of the wild ones from starvation or injuries incurred fighting over territory.[57] When a domestic mink survives long enough to reproduce, it may cause problems for the wild mink populations.[58] The adding of weaker domestic mink genes into wild mink populations is believed by some to have contributed to the decline of mink populations in Canada.[58] A 2006 study in Denmark concluded, due to frequent escapes from existing mink farms, “Closing mink farms may result in a crash of the free-ranging population, or alternatively it may result in the establishment of a better-adapted, truly feral population that may ultimately outnumber the population that was present before farm closures.” The study reported more information would be necessary to determine the outcome.[59] Another Danish study reported a significant majority of the “wild” mink were mink which had escaped from fur farms. About 47% had escaped within two months, 31% had escaped prior to two months, and 21% “may or may not have been born in nature.” The survival rate for recently released minks is reportedly lower than for wild minks, but if feral minks survive at least two months, their survival rate is the same as for wild minks. The authors suggest this is due to the rapid behavioural adaptation of the animals.[60] Relationships with humans[edit] Fur use[edit] American minks are primarily used in manufacturing fur coats, jackets, and capes. Pelts which are not able to be converted into these items are made into trimming for cloth and fur coats. Mink
Mink
scarves and stoles are also manufactured. Jackets and capes are mostly made from small to medium-sized specimens, usually females and young males, while trimming, scarves and stoles are made from adult males.[61] The most valuable peltries come from eastern Canada
Canada
which, although the smallest, are the silkiest and darkest.[62] Trapping[edit]

Illustration of an American mink
American mink
approaching a board or log trap

Although difficult to catch, the American mink, prior to being commercially farmed, was among the most frequently trapped furbearers as, unlike other furbearing mammals, it did not hibernate in winter, and could thus be caught on a nightly basis even in the far north.[63] Minks were legally trapped from early November to early April, when their pelts were prime.[64] Minks caught in traps cling to life with great tenacity, having been known to break their teeth in trying to extricate themselves from steel traps.[65] Elliott Coues
Elliott Coues
described a trapped mink thus:

One who has not taken a Mink
Mink
in a steel trap can scarcely form an idea of the terrible expression the animal's face assumes as the captor approaches. It has always struck me as the most nearly diabolical of anything in animal physiognomy. A sullen stare from the crouched, motionless form gives way to a new look of surprise and fear, accompanied with the most violent contortions of the body, with renewed champing of the iron till breathless, with heaving flanks, and open mouth dribbling saliva, the animal settles again, and watches with a look of concentrated hatred, mingled with impotent rage and frightful despair. The countenance of the Mink, its broad, low head, short ears, small eyes, piggish snout, and formidable teeth, is always expressive of the lower and more brutal passions, all of which are intensified at such times. As may well be supposed, the creature must not be incautiously dealt with when in such a frame of mind. — [65]

One Native American method involved using a bait (usually a slit open chicken carcass filled with fish oil and oysters) tied to a rope and dragged around an area laden with traps. A mink would thus follow the trail into one of the traps. Another indigenous method involved placing traps scented with muskrat and female mink musk on top of disused muskrat dens by water bodies. Attracted by the scent of food and a female, the mink would get caught in the trap and drown.[66] On the American prairies, only the steel trap was used, because of the lack of timber.[67] Farming[edit]

Various American mink
American mink
colour mutations

Breeding American minks for their fur began in the late 19th century, as increasing enthusiasm for mink pelts made the harvesting of wild minks insufficient to meet the new demands. American minks are easily kept in captivity, and breed readily.[68] In 2005, the U.S. ranked fourth in production behind Denmark, China and the Netherlands. Minks typically breed in March, and give birth to their litters in May. Farmers vaccinate the young kits for botulism, distemper, enteritis, and, if needed, pneumonia. They are harvested in late November and December. Methods for killing animals on fur farms, as on all farms, are detailed in the American Veterinary Medical Association's Report on Euthanasia which is used as a voluntary guideline for state departments of agriculture which have jurisdiction over all farms raising domesticated livestock, including minks.[69] In the past, some mink farms successfully provided pools of water for the mink to swim;[70] however, this practice is unheard-of in modern mink production. Minks are motivated to access swimming water, and the absence of water is a source of frustration on modern farms.[71] The ideal diet for farm-bred minks consists of four to five ounces of horse meat and a quarter-pint of milk once daily.[70] Colour mutations[edit] Selective breeding
Selective breeding
has produced a number of different colour shades in mink peltries, ranging from pure white, through beiges, browns, and greys, to a brown that is almost black. The two standard strains are brown and "black cross" which, when paired, produce numerous colour variations. When an albino mink is born, it is standard procedure in fur farms to breed it to other colour mutations to produce grey and light-brown pastel shades. The following graph is a simplification of the main colour strains:[72]

Colour variant Image Description

Pastel

Pale brown and beige fur with darker guard hairs of various hues[72]

Royal pastel

Same as above, but with a bluish cast[72]

Silverblu

Bluish grey fur fibre and guard hairs which are sometimes white-tipped, giving a silvery blue tone, pelts of this type with a brownish cast are less valuable.[72]

Breath of spring

Also known as "platinum", this variety has a brighter bluish cast than the Silverblu type.[72]

Blufrost

Pale brown fur fibre interspersed with dark brown guard hair, sprinkled with white guard hairs[72]

Kohinur

Also known as "black cross", this variety has white or cream-coloured fur fibre with a sprinkling of blackish guard hairs throughout the body, with the greatest concentrations being on the back and shoulders.[72]

Cerulean

Also known as "sapphire", this variety has bluish-grey fur fibre with mauve, blue-grey guard hair, with the greatest depth of colour being on the back.

Steel blue

Dull battleship grey guard hair, with lighter shaded fur fibre[72]

Lutetia

Also known as "Aleutian", this variety has gun-metal grey fur fibre and guard hair.

As pets[edit]

Mink
Mink
as pet

Wild minks can be tamed if caught young, but can be difficult to handle and are usually not handled bare-handed.[73] In the late 19th century, tame American minks were often reared for ratting, much as ferrets were used in Europe. They are sometimes more effective ratters than terriers, as they can enter rat holes and drive rats from their hiding places. Because of their fondness for bathing, captive American minks may enter kettles or other open water-containing vessels. When minks of wild stock are confined with tame ones, the latter invariably dominate the former. They have also been known to dominate cats in confrontations.[74] Though intelligent, minks are not quick to learn tricks taught to them by their owners.[75] Though domestic minks have been bred in captivity for almost a century, they have not been bred to be tame. Domestic minks have been bred for size, fur quality, and color. However, the U.S. Fur Commission claims "mink are truly domesticated animals", based on the number of years they have been kept on fur farms.[76] Literature[edit] As an invasive species in the United Kingdom, minks have been the subject of at least two novels. Ewan Clarkson's 1968 Break for Freedom (published as Syla, the Mink
Mink
in the USA) tells the story of a female mink escaped from a fur farm in a realistic style. On the other hand, A.R. Lloyd's 1982 Kine is a heroic fantasy with the minks as villains and weasels and other indigenous animals as heroes.[citation needed] See also[edit]

Aleutian disease European mink Sea mink Fur farming

References[edit] Notes[edit]

^ a b c Reid, F.; Schiaffini, M.; Schipper, J. (2016). "Neovison vison". IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T41661A45214988. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T41661A45214988.en. Retrieved 24 May 2017. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal
Mammal
Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 619. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.  ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, p. 745 ^ Bergsland Aleut Dictionary 1994 Alaska
Alaska
Native Language Center ISBN 1-55500-047-9 ^ Frantz & Russell Blackfoot Dictionary 1989 University of Toronto Press ISBN 0-8020-2691-5 ^ Munro & Willmond Chickasaw An Analytical Dictionary 1994 ISBN 0-8061-2687-6 ^ Chipewyan Dictionary 2012 South Slave Divisional Education Council ISBN 978-0-9878616-0-3 ^ Elementary Bilingual Dictionary English-Lakhóta, Lakhóta-English 1976 University of Colorado ^ Buechel, Eugene Lakota-English Dictionary 1983 Red Cloud Indian School LCCN 74-114669 ^ Hess Dictionary of Puget Salish 1974 University of Washington Press ISBN 0-295-95436-1 ^ Nichols & Nyholm A Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe 1995 University of Minnestota Press ISBN 0-8166-2428-3 ^ Rudes Tuscarora-English, English-Tuscarora Dictionary 1999 University of Toronto Press ISBN 0-8020-4336-4 ^ a b Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1397–1399 ^ Kurtén 1980, p. 151 ^ a b Harris & Yalden 2008, p. 488 ^ Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal
Mammal
Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.  ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Anthony 1928, pp. 109–110 ^ a b Coues 1877, pp. 161–162 ^ a b c Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1392–1394 ^ a b c d e f g h i j Feldhamer, Thompson & Chapman 2003, pp. 663–664 ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1394–1395 ^ Kruska, D. (1996). "The effect of domestication on brain size and composition in the mink ( Mustela
Mustela
vison)". Journal of Zoology. 239 (4): 645. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.1996.tb05468.x.  ^ Kruska, D.; Schreiber, A. (1999). "Comparative morphometrical and biochemical-genetic investigations in wild and ranch mink (Mustela vison: Carnivora: Mammalia)". Acta Theriologica. 44: 377. doi:10.4098/AT.arch.99-37.  ^ Seton 1909, p. 873 ^ a b c d e f Harris & Yalden 2008, pp. 489–490 ^ a b Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1410–1411 ^ a b c Harris & Yalden 2008, p. 491 ^ Merriam 1886, p. 67 ^ Seton 1909, pp. 879–880 ^ Seton 1909, p. 877 ^ a b c Heptner & Sludskii 2002, p. 1413 ^ Thom, Michael D., et al. "Female American mink, Mustela
Mustela
vison, mate multiply in a free-choice environment." Animal
Animal
Behaviour 67.5 (2004): 975-984. ^ Harris & Yalden 2008, p. 487 ^ Seton 1909, pp. 883–884 ^ Coues 1877, p. 178 ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1407–1408 ^ a b Harris & Yalden 2008, p. 492 ^ Haworth, Jenny (3 February 2009) "National cull may exterminate UK mink". Edinburgh. The Scotsman. ^ Ibarra, J. T. S.; Fasola, L.; MacDonald, D. W.; Rozzi, R.; Bonacic, C. N. (2009). "Invasive American mink
American mink
Mustela
Mustela
vison in wetlands of the Cape
Cape
Horn Biosphere Reserve, southern Chile: What are they eating?" (PDF). Oryx. 43: 87. doi:10.1017/S0030605308099997. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 2, 2011.  ^ Merriam 1886, p. 63 ^ Seton 1909, p. 885 ^ Macdonald, D. W., Barreto, G. R., Ferreras, P., Kirk, B., Rushton, S., Yamaguchi, N. & Strachan, R. (1999). "The impact of American mink, Mustela
Mustela
vison, as predators of native species in British freshwater systems", pp.5–24 in Cowan, D.P. & Freare, C.J. Advances in Vertebrate
Vertebrate
Pest Management. Filander Verlag, Furth. ISBN 3930831163 ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, p. 1414 ^ Maran, T. and Henttonen, H. 1995. Why is the European mink, Mustela lutreola disappearing? – A review of the process and hypotheses. Annales Fennici Zoologici 32: 47–54. ^ Bonesi, L.; Chanin, P.; MacDonald, D. W. (2004). "Competition between Eurasian otter
Eurasian otter
Lutra
Lutra
lutra and American mink
American mink
Mustela
Mustela
vison probed by niche shift" (PDF). Oikos. 106: 19. doi:10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.12763.x. [permanent dead link] ^ Doty, B. A.; Jones, C. N.; Doty, L. A. (1967). "Learning-Set Formation by Mink, Ferrets, Skunks, and Cats". Science. 155 (3769): 1579. Bibcode:1967Sci...155.1579D. doi:10.1126/science.155.3769.1579. PMID 6020488.  ^ (in Italian) Spagnesi M, Toso S, De Marinins AM (2002) I Mammiferi d'Italia[permanent dead link]. Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica, Italy. ^ Ediciones El País. "El visón europeo y su primo peligroso". EL PAÍS.  ^ Bevanger, K.; Henriksen, G. (1995). "The distributional history and present status of the American mink
American mink
( Mustela
Mustela
vison Schreber, 1777) in Norway" (PDF). Annales Zoologici Fennici. 32 (1): 1–14. JSTOR 23735558.  ^ a b Harris & Yalden 2008, p. 493 ^ Heptner & Sludskii 2002, pp. 1399–1403 ^ The impact of climate change on the American mink
American mink
in Iceland Archived July 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine., Wildlife Conservation Research Unit ^ Bonino, Never, (1995) INTRODUCED MAMMALS INTO PATAGONIA, SOUTHERN ARGENTINA: consequences, problems and management strategies, Integrating peoples and wildlife for a sustainable future. International Wildlife Management Congress, 1ro.; Bethesda, Md; Wildlife Society: 406–409 ^ Wobeser G., Runge W. & Stewart R. R. (1983). "Metorchis conjunctus (Cobbold, 1860) infection in wolves ( Canis
Canis
lupus), with pancreatic involvement in two animals". Journal of Wildlife Diseases 19(4): 353-356. PMID 6644936. ^ Tenembaum, David (2007) Unfolding the Prion
Prion
Mystery. cals.wisc.edu ^ "Scientific papers on Spongiform Disease by R.F. Marsh". mad-cow.org.  ^ a b Dunstone, N. (1993) The Mink. London. ^ a b Bowman, J.; Kidd, A.; Gorman, R.; Schultehostedde, A. (2007). "Assessing the potential for impacts by feral mink on wild mink in Canada" (PDF). Biological Conservation. 139: 12. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2007.05.020. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-06-16.  ^ Hammershøj, M.; Travis, J. M. J.; Stephenson, C. M. (2006). "Incorporating evolutionary processes into a spatially-explicit model: Exploring the consequences of mink-farm closures in Denmark". Ecography. 29 (4): 465. doi:10.1111/j.2006.0906-7590.04492.x.  ^ Hammershøj, M. (2004) Population ecology of free-ranging American mink Mustela
Mustela
vison in Denmark. PhD thesis, National Environmental Research Institute, Kalø, Denmark. ^ Bachrach 1953, p. 326 ^ Bachrach 1953, p. 327 ^ Harding 1906, p. 19 ^ Seton 1909, p. 895 ^ a b Coues 1877, pp. 175–176 ^ Harding 1906, pp. 53–56 ^ Harding 1906, pp. 57–69 ^ Seton 1909, pp. 896–897 ^ AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia Archived 2012-07-12 at the Wayback Machine., June 2007, American Veterinary Medical Association ^ a b Gates 1915, p. 50 ^ Mason, Georgia; Cooper, Jonathon (2001). "Frustrations of fur-farmed mink". Nature. 410 (6824): 35–36. doi:10.1038/35065157. PMID 11242031.  ^ a b c d e f g h Bachrach 1953, p. 335 ^ Harding 1906, p. 2 ^ Coues 1877, pp. 181–183 ^ Gates 1915, p. 32 ^ Mink
Mink
Farming in the United States. Fur Commission USA, Colorado (2008)

Bibliography[edit]

Anthony, Harold Elmer (1928). "Field book of North American mammals; descriptions of every mammal known north of the Rio Grande, together with brief accounts of habits, geographical ranges, etc". Nature. New York, London, G. P. Putnam's Sons. 124 (3135): 836. Bibcode:1929Natur.124S.836.. doi:10.1038/124836c0.  Bachrach, Max (1953). "Fur: a practical treatise" (3rd ed.). New York : Prentice-Hall.  Coues, Elliott (1877). "Fur-bearing Animals: A Monograph of North American Mustelidae". Government Printing Office.  Feldhamer, George A.; Thompson, Bruce Carlyle; Chapman, Joseph A. (2003). Wild mammals of North America: biology, management, and conservation. JHU Press. ISBN 0-8018-7416-5.  Gates, William Gilford (1915). "The propagation of mink and marten". Spokane, Shaw & Borden co., printers.  Harding, Arthur Robert (1906). " Mink
Mink
trapping; a book of instruction giving many methods of trapping". Columbus, O., A.R. Harding.  Merriam, C. Hart (1886). "The mammals of the Adirondack region, northeastern New York. With an introductory chapter treating of the location and boundaries of the region, its geological history, topography, climate, general features, botany and faunal position". New York Holt.  Harris, Stephen; Yalden, Derek (2008). Mammals of the British Isles (4th Revised ed.). Mammal
Mammal
Society. ISBN 0-906282-65-9.  Heptner, V. G.; Sludskii, A. A. (2002). Mammals of the Soviet Union. Vol. II, part 1b, Carnivores ( Mustelidae
Mustelidae
and Procyonidae). Washington, D.C. : Smithsonian Institution Libraries and National Science Foundation. ISBN 90-04-08876-8.  Kurtén, Björn (1980). " Pleistocene
Pleistocene
mammals of North America". Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-03733-3.  Seton, Ernest Thompson (1909). Life-histories of northern animals : an account of the mammals of Manitoba. New York City : Scribner.  Stone, Witmer; Cram, William Everett (1902). American Animals. Doubleday, Page & Co. Bibcode:1929Natur.124S.836.. doi:10.1038/124836c0. 

External links[edit]

Laura Bonesia, Santiago Palazon, 2007. The American mink
American mink
in Europe: Status, impacts, and control

Data related to Neovison
Neovison
vison at Wikispecies Media related to Neovison
Neovison
vison at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of American mink
American mink
at Wiktionary

Smithsonian Institution – North American Mammals: Neovison
Neovison
vison Mink
Mink
Research Library

v t e

Extant Carnivora
Carnivora
species

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Infraclass: Eutheria Superorder: Laurasiatheria

Suborder Feliformia

Nandiniidae

Nandinia

African palm civet
African palm civet
(N. binotata)

Herpestidae (Mongooses)

Atilax

Marsh mongoose
Marsh mongoose
(A. paludinosus)

Bdeogale

Bushy-tailed mongoose
Bushy-tailed mongoose
(B. crassicauda) Jackson's mongoose
Jackson's mongoose
(B. jacksoni) Black-footed mongoose
Black-footed mongoose
(B. nigripes)

Crossarchus

Alexander's kusimanse
Alexander's kusimanse
(C. alexandri) Angolan kusimanse
Angolan kusimanse
(C. ansorgei) Common kusimanse
Common kusimanse
(C. obscurus) Flat-headed kusimanse
Flat-headed kusimanse
(C. platycephalus)

Cynictis

Yellow mongoose
Yellow mongoose
(C. penicillata)

Dologale

Pousargues's mongoose
Pousargues's mongoose
(D. dybowskii)

Galerella

Angolan slender mongoose
Angolan slender mongoose
(G. flavescens) Black mongoose
Black mongoose
(G. nigrata) Somalian slender mongoose
Somalian slender mongoose
(G. ochracea) Cape
Cape
gray mongoose (G. pulverulenta) Slender mongoose
Slender mongoose
(G. sanguinea)

Helogale

Ethiopian dwarf mongoose
Ethiopian dwarf mongoose
(H. hirtula) Common dwarf mongoose
Common dwarf mongoose
(H. parvula)

Herpestes

Short-tailed mongoose
Short-tailed mongoose
(H. brachyurus) Indian gray mongoose
Indian gray mongoose
(H. edwardsii) Indian brown mongoose
Indian brown mongoose
(H. fuscus) Egyptian mongoose
Egyptian mongoose
(H. ichneumon) Small Asian mongoose
Small Asian mongoose
(H. javanicus) Long-nosed mongoose
Long-nosed mongoose
(H. naso) Collared mongoose
Collared mongoose
(H. semitorquatus) Ruddy mongoose
Ruddy mongoose
(H. smithii) Crab-eating mongoose
Crab-eating mongoose
(H. urva) Stripe-necked mongoose
Stripe-necked mongoose
(H. vitticollis)

Ichneumia

White-tailed mongoose
White-tailed mongoose
(I. albicauda)

Liberiictus

Liberian mongoose
Liberian mongoose
(L. kuhni)

Mungos

Gambian mongoose
Gambian mongoose
(M. gambianus) Banded mongoose
Banded mongoose
(M. mungo)

Paracynictis

Selous' mongoose
Selous' mongoose
(P. selousi)

Rhynchogale

Meller's mongoose
Meller's mongoose
(R. melleri)

Suricata

Meerkat
Meerkat
(S. suricatta)

Hyaenidae (Hyenas)

Crocuta

Spotted hyena
Spotted hyena
(C. crocuta)

Hyaena

Brown hyena
Brown hyena
(H. brunnea) Striped hyena
Striped hyena
(H. hyaena)

Proteles

Aardwolf
Aardwolf
(P. cristatus)

Felidae

Large family listed below

Viverridae

Large family listed below

Eupleridae

Small family listed below

Family Felidae

Felinae

Acinonyx

Cheetah
Cheetah
(A. jubatus)

Caracal

Caracal
Caracal
(C. caracal) African golden cat
African golden cat
(C. aurata)

Catopuma

Bay cat
Bay cat
(C. badia) Asian golden cat
Asian golden cat
(C. temminckii)

Felis

European wildcat
European wildcat
(F. silvestris) African wildcat
African wildcat
(F. lybica) Jungle cat
Jungle cat
(F. chaus) Black-footed cat
Black-footed cat
(F. nigripes) Sand cat
Sand cat
(F. margarita) Chinese mountain cat
Chinese mountain cat
(F. bieti) Domestic cat (F. catus)

Leopardus

Ocelot
Ocelot
(L. pardalis) Margay
Margay
(L. wiedii) Pampas cat
Pampas cat
(L. colocola) Geoffroy's cat
Geoffroy's cat
(L. geoffroyi) Kodkod
Kodkod
(L. guigna) Andean mountain cat
Andean mountain cat
(L. jacobita) Oncilla
Oncilla
(L. tigrinus) Southern tigrina
Southern tigrina
(L. guttulus)

Leptailurus

Serval
Serval
(L. serval)

Lynx

Canadian lynx (L. canadensis) Eurasian lynx
Eurasian lynx
(L. lynx) Iberian lynx
Iberian lynx
(L. pardinus) Bobcat
Bobcat
(L. rufus)

Otocolobus

Pallas's cat
Pallas's cat
(O. manul)

Pardofelis

Marbled cat
Marbled cat
(P. marmorata)

Prionailurus

Fishing cat
Fishing cat
(P. viverrinus) Leopard cat
Leopard cat
(P. bengalensis) Sundaland leopard cat (P. javanensis) Flat-headed cat
Flat-headed cat
(P. planiceps) Rusty-spotted cat
Rusty-spotted cat
(P. rubiginosus)

Puma

Cougar
Cougar
(P. concolor)

Herpailurus

Jaguarundi
Jaguarundi
(H. yagouaroundi)

Pantherinae

Panthera

Lion
Lion
(P. leo) Jaguar
Jaguar
(P. onca) Leopard
Leopard
(P. pardus) Tiger
Tiger
(P. tigris) Snow leopard
Snow leopard
(P. uncia)

Neofelis

Clouded leopard
Clouded leopard
(N. nebulosa) Sunda clouded leopard
Sunda clouded leopard
(N. diardi)

Family Viverridae
Viverridae
(includes Civets)

Paradoxurinae

Arctictis

Binturong
Binturong
(A. binturong)

Arctogalidia

Small-toothed palm civet
Small-toothed palm civet
(A. trivirgata)

Macrogalidia

Sulawesi palm civet
Sulawesi palm civet
(M. musschenbroekii)

Paguma

Masked palm civet
Masked palm civet
(P. larvata)

Paradoxurus

Golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus) Asian palm civet
Asian palm civet
(P. hermaphroditus) Jerdon's palm civet (P. jerdoni) Golden palm civet
Golden palm civet
(P. zeylonensis)

Hemigalinae

Chrotogale

Owston's palm civet
Owston's palm civet
(C. owstoni)

Cynogale

Otter
Otter
civet (C. bennettii)

Diplogale

Hose's palm civet
Hose's palm civet
(D. hosei)

Hemigalus

Banded palm civet
Banded palm civet
(H. derbyanus)

Prionodontinae (Asiatic linsangs)

Prionodon

Banded linsang
Banded linsang
(P. linsang) Spotted linsang
Spotted linsang
(P. pardicolor)

Viverrinae

Civettictis

African civet
African civet
(C. civetta)

Genetta (Genets)

Abyssinian genet
Abyssinian genet
(G. abyssinica) Angolan genet
Angolan genet
(G. angolensis) Bourlon's genet
Bourlon's genet
(G. bourloni) Crested servaline genet
Crested servaline genet
(G. cristata) Common genet
Common genet
(G. genetta) Johnston's genet
Johnston's genet
(G. johnstoni) Rusty-spotted genet
Rusty-spotted genet
(G. maculata) Pardine genet
Pardine genet
(G. pardina) Aquatic genet
Aquatic genet
(G. piscivora) King genet
King genet
(G. poensis) Servaline genet
Servaline genet
(G. servalina) Haussa genet
Haussa genet
(G. thierryi) Cape
Cape
genet (G. tigrina) Giant forest genet
Giant forest genet
(G. victoriae)

Poiana

African linsang
African linsang
(P. richardsonii) Leighton's linsang
Leighton's linsang
(P. leightoni)

Viverra

Malabar large-spotted civet
Malabar large-spotted civet
(V. civettina) Large-spotted civet
Large-spotted civet
(V. megaspila) Malayan civet
Malayan civet
(V. tangalunga) Large Indian civet
Large Indian civet
(V. zibetha)

Viverricula

Small Indian civet
Small Indian civet
(V. indica)

Family Eupleridae

Euplerinae

Cryptoprocta

Fossa (C. ferox)

Eupleres

Eastern falanouc
Eastern falanouc
(E. goudotii) Western falanouc (E. major)

Fossa

Malagasy civet
Malagasy civet
(F. fossana)

Galidiinae

Galidia

Ring-tailed mongoose
Ring-tailed mongoose
(G. elegans)

Galidictis

Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose
Broad-striped Malagasy mongoose
(G. fasciata) Grandidier's mongoose
Grandidier's mongoose
(G. grandidieri)

Mungotictis

Narrow-striped mongoose
Narrow-striped mongoose
(M. decemlineata)

Salanoia

Brown-tailed mongoose
Brown-tailed mongoose
(S. concolor) Durrell's vontsira (S. durrelli)

Suborder Caniformia
Caniformia
(cont. below)

Ursidae (Bears)

Ailuropoda

Giant panda
Giant panda
(A. melanoleuca)

Helarctos

Sun bear
Sun bear
(H. malayanus)

Melursus

Sloth bear
Sloth bear
(M. ursinus)

Tremarctos

Spectacled bear
Spectacled bear
(T. ornatus)

Ursus

American black bear
American black bear
(U. americanus) Brown bear
Brown bear
(U. arctos) Polar bear
Polar bear
(U. maritimus) Asian black bear
Asian black bear
(U. thibetanus)

Mephitidae

Conepatus (Hog-nosed skunks)

Molina's hog-nosed skunk
Molina's hog-nosed skunk
(C. chinga) Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
Humboldt's hog-nosed skunk
(C. humboldtii) American hog-nosed skunk
American hog-nosed skunk
(C. leuconotus) Striped hog-nosed skunk
Striped hog-nosed skunk
(C. semistriatus)

Mephitis

Hooded skunk
Hooded skunk
(M. macroura) Striped skunk
Striped skunk
(M. mephitis)

Mydaus

Sunda stink badger
Sunda stink badger
(M. javanensis) Palawan stink badger
Palawan stink badger
(M. marchei)

Spilogale (Spotted skunks)

Southern spotted skunk
Southern spotted skunk
(S. angustifrons) Western spotted skunk
Western spotted skunk
(S. gracilis) Eastern spotted skunk
Eastern spotted skunk
(S. putorius) Pygmy spotted skunk
Pygmy spotted skunk
(S. pygmaea)

Procyonidae

Bassaricyon (Olingos)

Eastern lowland olingo
Eastern lowland olingo
(B. alleni) Northern olingo
Northern olingo
(B. gabbii) Western lowland olingo
Western lowland olingo
(B. medius) Olinguito
Olinguito
(B. neblina)

Bassariscus

Ring-tailed cat
Ring-tailed cat
(B. astutus) Cacomistle
Cacomistle
(B. sumichrasti)

Nasua (Coatis inclusive)

White-nosed coati
White-nosed coati
(N. narica) South American coati
South American coati
(N. nasua)

Nasuella (Coatis inclusive)

Western mountain coati (N. olivacea) Eastern mountain coati (N. meridensis)

Potos

Kinkajou
Kinkajou
(P. flavus)

Procyon

Crab-eating raccoon
Crab-eating raccoon
(P. cancrivorus) Raccoon
Raccoon
(P. lotor) Cozumel raccoon
Cozumel raccoon
(P. pygmaeus)

Ailuridae

Ailurus

Red panda
Red panda
(A. fulgens)

Suborder Caniformia
Caniformia
(cont. above)

Otariidae (Eared seals) (includes fur seals and sea lions) ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Arctocephalus

South American fur seal
South American fur seal
(A. australis) Australasian fur seal (A. forsteri) Galápagos fur seal
Galápagos fur seal
(A. galapagoensis) Antarctic fur seal
Antarctic fur seal
(A. gazella) Juan Fernández fur seal
Juan Fernández fur seal
(A. philippii) Brown fur seal
Brown fur seal
(A. pusillus) Guadalupe fur seal
Guadalupe fur seal
(A. townsendi) Subantarctic fur seal
Subantarctic fur seal
(A. tropicalis)

Callorhinus

Northern fur seal
Northern fur seal
(C. ursinus)

Eumetopias

Steller sea lion
Steller sea lion
(E. jubatus)

Neophoca

Australian sea lion
Australian sea lion
(N. cinerea)

Otaria

South American sea lion
South American sea lion
(O. flavescens)

Phocarctos

New Zealand sea lion
New Zealand sea lion
(P. hookeri)

Zalophus

California
California
sea lion (Z. californianus) Galápagos sea lion
Galápagos sea lion
(Z. wollebaeki)

Odobenidae ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Odobenus

Walrus
Walrus
(O. rosmarus)

Phocidae (Earless seals) ( Pinniped
Pinniped
inclusive)

Cystophora

Hooded seal
Hooded seal
(C. cristata)

Erignathus

Bearded seal
Bearded seal
(E. barbatus)

Halichoerus

Gray seal (H. grypus)

Histriophoca

Ribbon seal
Ribbon seal
(H. fasciata)

Hydrurga

Leopard
Leopard
seal (H. leptonyx)

Leptonychotes

Weddell seal
Weddell seal
(L. weddellii)

Lobodon

Crabeater seal
Crabeater seal
(L. carcinophagus)

Mirounga (Elephant seals)

Northern elephant seal
Northern elephant seal
(M. angustirostris) Southern elephant seal
Southern elephant seal
(M. leonina)

Monachus

Mediterranean monk seal
Mediterranean monk seal
(M. monachus) Hawaiian monk seal
Hawaiian monk seal
(M. schauinslandi)

Ommatophoca

Ross seal
Ross seal
(O. rossi)

Pagophilus

Harp seal
Harp seal
(P. groenlandicus)

Phoca

Spotted seal
Spotted seal
(P. largha) Harbor seal
Harbor seal
(P. vitulina)

Pusa

Caspian seal
Caspian seal
(P. caspica) Ringed seal
Ringed seal
(P. hispida) Baikal seal
Baikal seal
(P. sibirica)

Canidae

Large family listed below

Mustelidae

Large family listed below

Family Canidae
Canidae
(includes dogs)

Atelocynus

Short-eared dog
Short-eared dog
(A. microtis)

Canis

Side-striped jackal
Side-striped jackal
(C. adustus) African golden wolf
African golden wolf
(C. anthus) Golden jackal
Golden jackal
(C. aureus) Coyote
Coyote
(C. latrans) Gray wolf
Gray wolf
(C. lupus) Black-backed jackal
Black-backed jackal
(C. mesomelas) Red wolf
Red wolf
(C. rufus) Ethiopian wolf
Ethiopian wolf
(C. simensis)

Cerdocyon

Crab-eating fox
Crab-eating fox
(C. thous)

Chrysocyon

Maned wolf
Maned wolf
(C. brachyurus)

Cuon

Dhole
Dhole
(C. alpinus)

Lycalopex

Culpeo
Culpeo
(L. culpaeus) Darwin's fox
Darwin's fox
(L. fulvipes) South American gray fox
South American gray fox
(L. griseus) Pampas fox
Pampas fox
(L. gymnocercus) Sechuran fox
Sechuran fox
(L. sechurae) Hoary fox
Hoary fox
(L. vetulus)

Lycaon

African wild dog
African wild dog
(L. pictus)

Nyctereutes

Raccoon
Raccoon
dog (N. procyonoides)

Otocyon

Bat-eared fox
Bat-eared fox
(O. megalotis)

Speothos

Bush dog
Bush dog
(S. venaticus)

Urocyon

Gray fox
Gray fox
(U. cinereoargenteus) Island fox
Island fox
(U. littoralis)

Vulpes (Foxes)

Bengal fox
Bengal fox
(V. bengalensis) Blanford's fox
Blanford's fox
(V. cana) Cape
Cape
fox (V. chama) Corsac fox
Corsac fox
(V. corsac) Tibetan sand fox
Tibetan sand fox
(V. ferrilata) Arctic fox
Arctic fox
(V. lagopus) Kit fox
Kit fox
(V. macrotis) Pale fox
Pale fox
(V. pallida) Rüppell's fox
Rüppell's fox
(V. rueppelli) Swift fox
Swift fox
(V. velox) Red fox
Red fox
(V. vulpes) Fennec fox
Fennec fox
(V. zerda)

Family Mustelidae

Lutrinae (Otters)

Aonyx

African clawless otter
African clawless otter
(A. capensis) Oriental small-clawed otter
Oriental small-clawed otter
(A. cinerea)

Enhydra

Sea otter
Sea otter
(E. lutris)

Hydrictis

Spotted-necked otter
Spotted-necked otter
(H. maculicollis)

Lontra

North American river otter
North American river otter
(L. canadensis) Marine otter
Marine otter
(L. felina) Neotropical otter
Neotropical otter
(L. longicaudis) Southern river otter
Southern river otter
(L. provocax)

Lutra

Eurasian otter
Eurasian otter
(L. lutra) Hairy-nosed otter
Hairy-nosed otter
(L. sumatrana)

Lutrogale

Smooth-coated otter
Smooth-coated otter
(L. perspicillata)

Pteronura

Giant otter
Giant otter
(P. brasiliensis)

Mustelinae (including badgers)

Arctonyx

Hog badger
Hog badger
(A. collaris)

Eira

Tayra
Tayra
(E. barbara)

Galictis

Lesser grison
Lesser grison
(G. cuja) Greater grison
Greater grison
(G. vittata)

Gulo

Wolverine
Wolverine
(G. gulo)

Ictonyx

Saharan striped polecat
Saharan striped polecat
(I. libyca) Striped polecat
Striped polecat
(I. striatus)

Lyncodon

Patagonian weasel
Patagonian weasel
(L. patagonicus)

Martes (Martens)

American marten
American marten
(M. americana) Yellow-throated marten
Yellow-throated marten
(M. flavigula) Beech marten
Beech marten
(M. foina) Nilgiri marten
Nilgiri marten
(M. gwatkinsii) European pine marten
European pine marten
(M. martes) Japanese marten
Japanese marten
(M. melampus) Sable
Sable
(M. zibellina)

Pekania

Fisher (P. pennanti)

Meles

Japanese badger
Japanese badger
(M. anakuma) Asian badger
Asian badger
(M. leucurus) European badger
European badger
(M. meles)

Mellivora

Honey badger
Honey badger
(M. capensis)

Melogale (Ferret-badgers)

Bornean ferret-badger
Bornean ferret-badger
(M. everetti) Chinese ferret-badger
Chinese ferret-badger
(M. moschata) Javan ferret-badger
Javan ferret-badger
(M. orientalis) Burmese ferret-badger
Burmese ferret-badger
(M. personata)

Mustela (Weasels and Ferrets)

Amazon weasel
Amazon weasel
(M. africana) Mountain weasel
Mountain weasel
(M. altaica) Stoat
Stoat
(M. erminea) Steppe polecat
Steppe polecat
(M. eversmannii) Colombian weasel
Colombian weasel
(M. felipei) Long-tailed weasel
Long-tailed weasel
(M. frenata) Japanese weasel
Japanese weasel
(M. itatsi) Yellow-bellied weasel
Yellow-bellied weasel
(M. kathiah) European mink
European mink
(M. lutreola) Indonesian mountain weasel
Indonesian mountain weasel
(M. lutreolina) Black-footed ferret
Black-footed ferret
(M. nigripes) Least weasel
Least weasel
(M. nivalis) Malayan weasel
Malayan weasel
(M. nudipes) European polecat
European polecat
(M. putorius) Siberian weasel
Siberian weasel
(M. sibirica) Back-striped weasel
Back-striped weasel
(M. strigidorsa) Egyptian weasel
Egyptian weasel
(M. subpalmata)

Neovison (Minks)

American mink
American mink
(N. vison)

Poecilogale

African striped weasel
African striped weasel
(P. albinucha)

Taxidea

American badger
American badger
(T. taxus)

Vormela

Marbled polecat
Marbled polecat
(V. peregusna)

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q27179 ADW: Neovison_vison ARKive: neovison-vison EoL: 922786 EPPO: NEVSVI GBIF: 2433652 iNaturalist: 74758 ITIS: 726284 IUCN: 41661 MSW: 140

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