The food of feral mink (Mustela vison) in Scotland



Feral American mink (Mustela vison) thrive in Scotland. The potential impact of the mink on the native fauna was investigated through its food. Fifty-five stomachs and 33 scats were analysed by identifying the indigestible remains. Fish formed the main prey (49% occurrence) and birds and mammals 28% and 23% respectively. Most of the fish eaten were Salmonidae (brown trout and salmon). No remains of eels were found.

Mink may compete with otters for food, but the smaller prey taken by the mink and its greater use of land separates it from the otter. Mink seem to be occupying a vacant feeding niche in Scotland.