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Common Mammal Species of Northwestern Ontario

BIRDS

FISHES

REPTILES

INSECTS

   
Mustela vison
Mink

Description

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)

Habitat

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.

Diet

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

Notes

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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