Belongs to: carnivores

Compare with: otter

American mink Neovison vison

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

A non-native predator that hunts along rivers and streams, taking a wide variety of prey from frogs to moorhens

Escaped from fur farms from the 1950s on and now breed across most of Britain

A threat to native wildlife and especially water voles, female mink being small enough to get into their burrows


Smaller and darker than otters, with almost black fur and a white chin and throat

More likely to be seen along rivers than the otter, which is shy and secretive

The european mink is similar but never occurred in Britain and is endangered in mainland Europe

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© Peter Trimming