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American Mink (Neovison vison)

The American mink (Neovison vison) and other fur bearing animals attracted trappers, traders, and settlers to Alaska from around the world. Some of the most valuable furbearers belong to the Mustelidae or weasel family, which includes the American mink. Mink trapping provides both recreation and income for some Alaskans. Trapping mink as a livelihood requires an unusual amount of stamina, perseverance, and knowledge of the animals' habits. The value of mink furs, or pelts, changes dramatically depending on the current demand in the fur clothing business, and the trapper's income may go up and down accordingly. Mink are farmed extensively for their pelts.