What to Record

Mink that are caught and dispatched are a valuable source of information and it is really important that anyone trapping a mink should let whoever is co-ordinating control in their area know as soon as possible.  Indeed, if the mink was caught in a smart trap they may of course know as soon as the trapper and may collect the body!  However, whatever the circumstances we would like to know:

  • The date and place of capture (e.g. a location plus a grid reference or Lat. / Long.)
  • If possible the sex of the animal and whether you think it is an adult or juvenile.
  • Again, if you are able, the weight and / or its length, from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail.
  • Finally, that all important tissue sample for DNA analysis (find out why here Development: DNA & Detection Dogs). A tip of an ear collected in an alcohol filled tube, if you have been given one, is perfect.  If you have no tubes your County Contact should be able to let you have some along with instructions on how to take a sample.  Failing that, a small sample in a plastic bag in your freezer (domestic conditions allowing!) that can be collected later is an alternative.

Please remember mink are potential vectors of transmissible diseases, so always follow our Health & Safety guidelines when handling animals. We appreciate recording this information may not be for everyone but it makes a huge contribution to our understanding of what the project is achieving.  Thank you.

Male or Female Mink?

When trying to control any population, it is the females that are particularly important and knowing where they are most likely to be found can make control more effective.  There is clearly a big size difference between the sexes, with adult males (900g—2kg) around twice the size of adult females (550g-850g).  However juvenile males clearly overlap with adult females in weight and to be sure of the sex, it is best to look at the genital region.  Here, as shown, there is a substantially greater distance between the urinary tract and anus in males than female

Click image to view full size

Male

© Paul Gambling

© Paul Gambling

Female