Scientific Name: Mustela vison mink
Classification: Mammalia, Order Carnivora, Family Mustelidae
Distribution: This subspecies of mink is found in most of central and eastern Virginia. This species is more aquatic than most mustelids except otters, and can be considered semi-aquatic, so they are always found near water. They also prefer forested, brushy areas that provide cover for dens.
The body is long and slender, with short legs, small ears, and a long, bushy tail. The fur is dark, glossy brown, with white spots on the chin, throat, chest, abdomen and anal region. The adult male weighs 0.9-1.6 kg, and is 580-700 mm total length with the female being slightly smaller. The mating season is from late February to early April, and 1-8 young are born in late April to May. This species is solitary and unsociable. They live near water, and use temporary housing to cache food. They will release a strong, fetid liquid from scent glands if injured, irritated or excited. They are occasionally preyed upon by owl, bobcat, wolf, fox, river otter, fisher and other mink, but there is no significant mortality from predators except humans. Lifespan in the wild is probably 3-4 years.
Last updated: August 18, 2023
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Species Profile Database serves as a repository of information for Virginia’s fish and wildlife species. The database is managed and curated by the Wildlife Information and Environmental Services (WIES) program. Species profile data, distribution information, and photography is generated by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State and Federal agencies, Collection Permittees, and other trusted partners. This product is not suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying use. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources does not accept responsibility for any missing data, inaccuracies, or other errors which may exist. In accordance with the terms of service for this product, you agree to this disclaimer.