), described a major difference between minks and river otters — d’oh! try again, the name must be unique, Please Wild About the British Isles (WABI) Skip Navigation. Are you sure you want to submit this vote? try again, the name must be unique, Please The average otter is 1–1.3 metres in length, and weighs up to 9kg. Minks are members of the weasel family and look very similar to weasels and otters. The American Mink lives across most of North America and is a cat-sized member of the Mustelidae family, which also includes weasels, otters and skunks. Mink are generally larger than other weasels. Now recolonising areas across Britain after catastrophic decline in 1950s and 1960s. carnivore: Importance of Carnivora. The forum for lovers of UK wildlife in all its forms and ex Wabbers who are still wild about Britain. In the UK, there are seven mustelid species found in the wild, including stoat, weasel, badger, pine marten, American mink, polecat and otter. Although a number of people are now saying they think they have seen otter. try again, the name must be unique, Please From: Sheila Duke, Canal Lane, Pocklington. ii) compare otter diet in different river systems and urban and rural environments. Similar results were found in south-west England. Weasel vs Mink While they look the same at a first glance, there’s actually some, well, big , differences between weasels and minks. Quite similar to otter prints, they show five toes in a splayed, star shape. Therefore, stopping behaviors such as cage pacing might be difficult, or impossible. According to Leslie Ann, the mink has a shorter, bushier tail; the otter has a long tail which is flattened for swimming. The European otter has been here for millions of years; it is a member of the Mustelid family, which also includes the badger, mink, weasels, stoats, martens and polecats, and is the only truly semi-aquatic member of the weasel family. catbus1974. But it seems the mink has met its match in the sleek shape of the native Scottish otter. It is also important to remember that like otters, Mink also have five toes. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Otter populations today are up to about 4,000 and the much larger animal is out-competing mink for food and territory. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? Mink are generally larger than other weasels. The American mink, one of the countryside's most ruthless killers, has finally met its match. Create a commenting name to join the debate. They also frequently have the little white patch of fur on their chin, and a more pointed nose than the otter. 'active' : ''"> Mink can be brown or black, but many mink in Iowa are black year-round. I am informed that otter prefer fish, eels and frogs and will take ducklings, and that a sure sign of an otter is that it eats all the fish from head down and leaves the fish tail on the bank. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies Oldest first, -1) ? December 22, 2019 2:01 pm . Mink average 13-18 inches long and weigh up to 3 pounds, whereas ermine weigh 0.2-0.3 pounds and least weasels weigh 1-2 ounces. Food: Mainly fish, but birds, small mammals, frogs and shellfish, Lifespan: Four years on average, but up to 12 years. I have attended hundreds of meets and at no time have I  ever heard the sound of a fox screaming. This is a mink they are smaller like ferrets, and more bold. Mink are dark-colored, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals of the genera Neovison and Mustela, and part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, otters and ferrets.There are two extant species referred to as "mink": the American mink and the European mink.The extinct sea mink is related to the American mink but was much larger. iv) compare the diet of the otter with that of the American mink. They are very bold creatures and not to be messed with. But now, thanks to tougher water purity and pesticide regulations, and Government-funded reintroduction projects, otters are getting the upper hand. Across Britain, mink numbers are plummeting - thanks to a resurgence in native otter populations. 'active' : ''"> Mink. Mink are dark-colored, semiaquatic, carnivorous mammals of the genera Neovison and Mustela, and part of the family Mustelidae, which also includes weasels, otters and ferrets. I believe that Defra, English Nature and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust need to educate people to spot the differences in activity of otter and mink. Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. American mink (Neovison vison) have a much darker brown or black coat and are smaller than otters. An ermine is dark brown in summer with a white belly, feet and a white line down its hind leg. She must have been hunting in her dreams claiming she could clearly hear the fox scream when caught. This has had a damaging impact on some native species, particularly the water vole. Community to your comment. In rare cases, otters are even killing mink in direct combat. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. The otter was almost wiped out in England by the build-up of toxic organo-phosphate pesticidesin the food chain. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Reply. Guidelines. December 22, 2019 11:34 am . Mink, cause face ears hair and tail all different than river or sea otter. Otters. iii) study the reliance of the otter on the invasive signal crayfish, that is now common in our local rivers. It was not otter scent because apparently that smells like jasmine tea. Guest. Slim, with poor eyesight but acute sense of smell. The appearance of the mink would be best described as a mix between an otter and weasel. One project in the upper Thames area, covering rivers such as the Colne, Thames, Windrush, Churn and Leach, tracked mink numbers after otters were reintroduced there in 1998. There is a chain reaction.". They recovered slightly but by 2002, they were still living in only half their previous range. American mink is a non-native species of mustelid (the same family as stoats and weasels) that was bred in fur farms in the UK from the 1920s onwards and, according to … Widely blamed for decimating Britain's water vole population, mink were able to exploit a collapse in otter numbers in the 1950s and 1960s. Acute sense of sight, smell and hearing. "We introduced pollutants which made the otter population go down, and then introduced mink because we wanted fur. 'active' : ''"> Mink were first confirmed to … Laura Bonesi, the zoologist who conducted the research with Oxford university's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, has also analysed statistics from the last national otter survey. The most popular of all furs sold worldwide, mink accounts for the overwhelming majority of U.S. retail fur sales. Otters and ferrets are close relatives of them. Please ©PaulG2012 Mink Rafts and Traps Slide 17 Identifying Tracks : Otter-like • Mink – 2.5cm across, 4 toes show, half size of otter – otherwise very similar • Badger – similar width to otter – 5 toes usu show, in shallower arc – claws long way from toe pads • Dog – variable, some same width as otter – 4 toes, in steeper arc, symmetrical • Fox The article last Saturday on the ratter Phil Bastey and his dogs, where he also saved the remaining chickens by trapping the culprit, a mink, should make us wake up to the fact that mink are on the increase again and need culling. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. 'active' : ''"> Mink are generally larger than other weasels. And the decline is dramatic, with mink numbers falling in the Home Counties by as much as 50 per cent. 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