FWC asks public to report mink sightings
Monday, July 15, 2013
Media contact: Kevin Baxter, 727-896-8626
Mink are rare in Florida, and wildlife biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are hoping to learn more about this small mammal. But they need the public’s help to find out where it occurs. People can report evidence such as mink sightings, photos and road-killed specimens online.
Adult mink weigh 2-3 pounds and measure about 2 feet in length. Fur can be dark chocolate or a light rusty brown. Sometimes there is a patch of white along the chin and under the throat.
“We know that mink are more likely to be found in and near salt-marsh habitat on both coasts of Florida but the reports people provide will help us pinpoint where we do research,” said Chris Winchester, wildlife biologist with the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.
Winchester said there are three known subspecies of mink in Florida – Atlantic salt marsh mink, Gulf salt marsh mink and Everglades mink. Although there is a scarcity of information about the three subspecies, only the Everglades mink is listed as threatened.
Some people confuse mink with other species such as otters and weasels, but whereas mink are quite small, otters typically weigh 10 to 30 pounds and are 3 feet or more long. Weasels look similar to mink, but are smaller and have brown fur along their backs and pale yellow fur along the entire belly.
Mink are strictly carnivorous, eating fish, frogs, crayfish, crabs and various birds and small mammals.
For more information about this study and to submit sightings to the FWC, visit MyFWC.com/Research, click on Wildlife, and select “Public Asked to Share Mink Sightings” under “Terrestrial Mammals.”