Florida Fish and Wildlife Images: Biologists Spot Rare Long-Tailed Mink, Weasel in the Sunshine State
By Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission // August 20, 2020
mink can be found in freshwater and saltwater marshes of the Everglades
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Have you seen a long-tailed mink or weasel? Both are rare here in the Sunshine State, and their secretive nature means that biologists need your help to gather some information!
Florida Fish and Wildlife biologists want to know more about weasels and mink in Florida, and they’re asking the public to help them gather information. Both species appear to be quite rare in Florida, and their secretive nature makes them very difficult to study.
Because of these challenges, biologists know little about their distribution and abundance in the state. Long-tailed weasels are typically found in a wide variety of habitats like forests and prairies but are usually found in close proximity to water bodies.
Mink are semi-aquatic animals common in salt marshes and freshwater marshes.
To improve our understanding of these species and gather better data, the FWC launched a Web-based reporting system that allows citizens and visitors of Florida to share weasel and mink sightings with biologists.
This reporting system has a Google Maps tool that helps citizens easily locate and mark sightings by species, as well as a comments field in which users can share notes on behavior and habitat use.
Those who are lucky enough to snap pictures of one of these elusive critters can also attach photos to their reports.
The FWC would like to thank everyone who has submitted a report for their contributions to wildlife research and encourages citizens to keep a watchful eye for these notoriously shy animals.
The more information citizens share through the reporting system, the better biologists will be able to evaluate the status of weasels and mink in Florida.
The distribution of long-tailed weasels is not well documented in Florida. Long-tailed weasels have historically been found in areas where there are large tracts of undisturbed forest habitat, including Ocala National Forest, Blackwater River State Forest, Osceola Wildlife Management Area, and the Apalachicola National Forest.
For reasons unknown, mink appear to be absent from the freshwater streams, rivers, and wetlands of central and northern Florida. In this part of the state, mink are more likely to be seen in salt marsh habitat along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.
In southern Florida, mink can be found in the freshwater and saltwater marshes of the Everglades.
Some known mink hotspots include salt-marsh areas near Fort Clinch State Park, Big Talbot Island State Parks, Cedar Key Scrub State Preserve and the forest of Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park.