Common Mammal Species of Northwestern Ontario





Mustela vison


Distinguishing Features - Overall colouration, thick, soft lustrous coat varies from dark brown to black; oily guard hairs give fur glossy appearance. Underside, paler. White patch on lower lip. Body, long; legs, compact; feet, partially webbed.

Mink Size -
Male: 49 - 62 cm (19.3 - 24.4 in)
Female: 42 - 59.7 cm (16.5 - 23.5 in)


Widespread throughout Northwestern Ontario, in forested areas along streams, lakes and marshlands; also second-growth areas with mixed shrubs and grasses, and borders of fields and pasture land.


Primarily a carnivore, the mink's diet consists mainly of small mammals, rodents, frogs, fish, crayfish, birds, eggs, insects and worms; some plant matter.


Because the mink dines heavily on fish and other water animal species, its population numbers in some areas been severely reduced by pollution. Trapping is no longer a major factor in the numbers of wild mink as most furs for the fashion industry come from commercial mink farms. In pristine habitats the mink does well; its numbers are stable and growing, only controlled by trapping.

A female will produce a litter of 2 to 10 offspring each year.

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