, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 103-114

Contaminant concentrations in Illinois mink and otter

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Mink and otters are valuable wildlife resources and management efforts in North America and Europe have been directed towards re-establishing extirpated populations or expanding existing populations. The similarity of otter and mink habits and trophic status may allow inferences about the suitability of the habitat that is occupied by one species (mink) for the other species that is absent (otter). Remnant otter populations in Illinois have not expanded even though suitable habitat appears to be available and is occupied by mink. Low contaminant concentrations in tissues of mink trapped in a habitat where otters are not found and metal and organochlorine concentrations in tissues of otters incidentally collected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, suggest that environmental contaminants should not hinder natural expansion of otters in Illinois.