Environment
5:21 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

State Asks Public To Report Wild Mink Sightings

Florida scientists are trying to determine population numbers of mink.

State of Florida biologists are calling for the public to help them study potentially endangered wild mink, the small animals perhaps best known for becoming luxurious coats. Mink are thought to live in several parts of the state.

Mink are small, chocolate brown animals similar in shape to ferrets. They’re rare in Florida, and state biologist Jeff Gore is on a team trying to determine if their numbers are growing or shrinking. And he’s asking for the public’s help.

“We have used public surveys in the past, but it’s been more difficult because you’d either have to go out and talk to people face to face or ask them to draw something on a map and mail it in," he said.

Members of the public can go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's website and click on an interactive map to report mink sightings. Using that data and photos the public submits, scientists will attempt to determine the mink population in a given area. So far, researchers know of mink living in the Jacksonville area, in the Big Bend’s salt marshes and in the Western Everglades.