As the name suggests, American mink originated in North America.
Renowned for their thick fur, large numbers of mink were bred, raised and killed on fur farms.
Some animals escaped, and others were released on purpose.
The mink readily adapted to their new environment and quickly spread, establishing themselves at the top of the food chain.
Mink are now found in every county in Ireland, and are regarded by many as a pest species.
There is a European species of mink, but it has never reached Ireland.
Along with the badger, otter, stoat & pine marten, the American mink is a member of the mustelid family, a group of short-
The mink has a long slender body, very thick dark-
The mink is quite adaptable and has spread to a variety of habitats, but is usually found near water, not difficult in a wet country like Ireland.
Mink prefer slow-
American mink are hunters or predators. Living mainly near water, their prey is mostly fish such as perch and eels, crayfish where they are plentiful, and water birds like coot, mallard and moorhen. Mink are good swimmers, but unable to dive for as long as otters -
Mink usually breed in late February, and the pregnancy may be 1 month or delayed until up to 80 days. 3-