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Using video traps, we tested the commonly held view that Mink, Neovison vison, are mostly nocturnal. We compared Mink passages during daylight and darkness in two habitats. Mink were significantly more nocturnal in uplands with streams and significantly more diurnal in wetlands. Assuming that uplands have a higher proportion of terrestrial prey active at night and wetlands have a higher proportion of aquatic prey, the observed difference in activity periods may be related to the difficulty of seeing aquatic prey at night and suggests a dynamic interaction between food visibility and diel activity in Mink.


This project was funded by the New York State Great Lakes Protection Fund (Project C-302399). Jeffrey Wellman designed, built, and maintained the MustelaVision video trap systems. Randall Baase serviced the systems weekly in the field. The landowners who allowed us to use their properties included Al Burkhart, “Doc” Fink, Mel Reber, Dick Sands, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Many trappers in New York provided valuable advice, and Christopher J. Norment reviewed an earlier version of the manuscript.

Citation/Publisher Attribution

Wellman, Sara T., and James M. Haynes. 2009. Diel activity patterns of Mink, Neovison vison, change with habitat. Canadian Field-Naturalist 123(4): 368–370.


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