Head and body length: 19 - 21.6 cm, tail: 12 - 17.6 cm
450 - 1005 g
Estimated at fewer than 10,000
Semi-aquatic; frequents small rivers with wooded banks and marsh areas
Thinking mink? Then think water. One of only two native European carnivore species adapted for semi-aquatic life, the European mink is rarely found more than 100 meters from water. The male breeds with females within the territory he holds, generally near a small river or marsh. All the minks take advantage of the rich variety of prey living in or around the water, the fish and frogs to crayfish and small mammals. But mink-friendly habitat is being lost or degraded at an alarming rate, and in much of what remains the European mink faces competition for food and territory with the introduced American mink. Space, and perhaps time, is running out.