Everglades Mink

Everglades MinkMink are semi-aquatic mammals and members of the weasel family, which include otters, ferrets, badgers, and martens. Minks can be found near rivers, lakes, and marshes throughout North America and Canada.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, wild minks are less abundant than they were 50 years ago. The quality of their habitat has been degraded through development, stream channelization, and the drainage of wetlands.

Mink occur in three distinct populations in Florida. Two populations of mink inhabit the salt marshes of the northern Gulf and Atlantic coasts; while the southern Florida population, the Everglades Mink (Mustela vison evergladensis), is listed as a threatened subspecies.

The Everglades mink is currently believed to be limited to the shallow freshwater marshes and long-hydroperiod swamps of the Fakahatchee Strand, Big Cypress Swamp, and southern portions of the Everglades. Historically it occupied a much larger range covering much of the northern Everglades and Lake Okeechobee region; however because of the wariness of the species habits, there are no historical or current estimates of the size or density of the population.

Developing a feasible, non-invasive survey methodology for the Everglades mink will not only facilitate future designs of more rigorous surveys to establish mink distribution, habitat and populations; but also be an essential component in assessing the impacts of Everglades Restoration projects on the species.