Document Type


Publication Date



American mink; Coots--Effect of predation on; Predation (Biology)


American Coot (Fulica americana) nest success, defined as at least one chick hatching, frequently exceeds 90% (Fredrickson et al. 1977), indicating success in avoiding nest predation during incubation. However, predation of juvenile coots may be an important factor in coot reproduction. Many anecdotal reports of predation on coots by mink (Mustela vison) exist (for example, Bailey 1926, Bennett 1938, Low 1945, Errington 1967, Arnold and Fritzell 1989). Studies of waterfowl predation (Sowls 1955, Sargeant et al. 1973) and diets of predators (Eberhardt 1973, Arnold and Fritzell 1987) report significant predation of coots by mink. Eberhardt and Sargeant (1977) estimated 52% of the maximum coot chick production in a marsh during one breeding season was depredated by a single mink family. In that study, maximum coot chick production was estimated by counting adult coots and assuming a nine-egg clutch for each pair of adults. Lacking, however, are reports of actual coot abundance relative to the numbers of coots depredated by mink.

During the course of monitoring coot reproduction at a restored prairie wetland in 1991, we located an active mink den and analyzed prey remains and scats deposited during the coot breeding season. Here we report levels of mink predation on coots in relation to coot abundance.

First Page


Last Page


Primo Type




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.