The feeding ecology of mink (Mustela vison) in coastal habitat



The diet of a coast-living population of mink was investigated from the scats collected over a three-year period, and compared with information on the availability of principal prey species. Lagomorphs were the single most important prey, and predation upon them matched the abundance of rabbits as determined by monthly counts. Aquatic foraging was particularly important, with rockpool-inhabiting fish accounting for 29–1% occurrence of food items. Fish predation was more pronounced during winter months when lagomorph prey was less available. Crustacean prey, particularly the shore crab, Carcinus maenas, occurred frequently in the diet. Seabirds figured regularly in the diet; these were either taken as carrion from the strand-line or through predation on breeding colonies during the summer months.