They're rarely spotted, but it doesn't mean they don't exist. Now, biologist want your help to track them.
Biologists with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)are asking for the public's help in locating the small, fast, semi-aquatic creatures.
A FWC release states because their size and behavior keeps them out of sight, understanding where mink are in Florida, and how many mink live in the state, is extremely challenging to biologists.
"If members of the public report their sightings of these elusive animals, it would be invaluable to our research," said Jesse Boulerice, FWC biologist in Lake City. "The more people we have looking for mink, the more information we can gather."
Who might be most likely to spot a mink? Fisherman, boaters and other water recreationalists.
The sightings will be used to identify areas where mink are more common in Florida and help biologists pinpoint locations to focustheir research.
The Everglades mink is listed in Florida as a threatened species. The FWC has created an online database for anyone to report sightings of mink in Florida at https://public.myfwc.com/hsc/mink/.
Biologists add Mink are typically found near, in and around sources of water, although they can also be found on dry land. "They have a long sleek body, thick tail, small ears and small eyes," Boulerice said. "Mink are between 1 and 2.5 feet long and weigh up to 4 pounds. These animals are dark-chocolate brown to black in color and sometimes have a patch of white along the chin and throat."
Mink can be confused with otters. Ottersare much larger in size (10-30 pounds). Weasels are also similar to mink, but are smaller and have brown fur along their backs and yellow along the entire belly.