Found in close association with coastal marine and freshwater ecosystems, preferring saltwater beaches and riparian habitats of lakeshores, marshes, and stream banks (Banfield 1974, Lariviere 1999). Habitats associated with small streams are preferred to habitats near large, broad rivers (Allen 1986). In Quebec the majority of American mink activity takes place less than 4.8 km from water (Burgess 1978), in Michigan within 30.4 m of the water’s edge (Marshall 1936), in Minnesota all den sites were within 69.9 m of open water (Schladweiler and Storm 1969), and in Idaho den sites were 5-100 m from water, and American mink were never observed more than 200 m from water (Melquist et al. 1981). American mink favor forested wetlands with abundant cover such as shrub thickets, fallen trees, and rocks (DeGraaf and Rudis 1986). Wetlands with irregular, diverse shorelines are better American mink habitat than those with straight, open, or exposed shorelines. In upland habitats, ecotones are most used (Allen 1986). In southeastern Alaska mink spend the summers along streams and in upland muskegs; they spend the winter in a narrow ocean beach zone (Meehan 1974). In Alaska the highest American mink densities occurred in low swampy terrain and in extensively interconnected waterways with abundant fish (Burns 1964).
Allen, A. W. 1986. Habitat suitability index models: mink. Biol. Rep. 82 (10.127). Washington, DC: USDI, USFWS. 23 p.
Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Canada. 438 pp. Burgess, S. A. 1978. Aspects of mink ecology in the southern Laurentians of Quebec. Montreal, PQ:
McGill University. 87 p. Thesis.
Burns, J. J. 1964. The ecology, economics and management of mink in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska. 114 p. Thesis.
DeGraaf, R. M. and D. D. Rudis. 1986. New England wildlife: habitat, natural history, and distribution. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-108. Broomall, PA: USDA,USFS, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 491 p.
Lariviere, S. 1999. Mustela vison. Mammalian Species (608):1-9.
Marshall, W. H. 1936. A study of the winter activities of the mink. Journal of Mammalogy. 17(4): 382- 392.
Meehan, W. R. 1974. The forest ecosystem of southeast Alaska: 4. Wildlife habitats. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-16. Portland, OR: USDA, USFS, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 32 p.
Melquist, W. E., J. S. Whitman, and M. G. Hornocker. 1981. Resource partitioning and coexistence of sympatric mink and river otter populations. In: J. A. Chapman and D. Pursley, eds. Worldwide furbearer conference: Proceedings; 1980 August 3-11; Frostburg, MD. Volume I. [Place of publication unknown]: [Publisher unknown]: 187-220.
Schladweiler, J. S. and G. L. Storm. 1969. Den-use by mink. Journal of Wildlife Management. 33(4): 1025- 1026.