Profile of an American mink

American mink

American mink are often mistaken for otters, but are much smaller with fluffier tails and pointed snouts. Inside this beautiful looking creature lurks an indiscriminate killer of birds, fish and small mammals that decimate ground-nesting birds and tackle fish as large as themselves. Native to North America, they were introduced around the world for fur farming. Escapees and deliberate releases have resulted in this great survivor becoming established in Europe and South America and with no natural predators in the UK, their populations are thriving.

See the UK's "alien invaders" hot list.

Scientific name: Neovison vison

Rank: Species

Common names:


Watch video clips from past programmes (5 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.


The American mink can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, North America, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the American mink distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1