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Food competition between American mink and otters was measured by comparing the diets of sympatric mink and otter populations with those of allopatric populations. Niche breadth was narrower for otters than mink. Niche breadth was wider for both mink and otters on islands where they co‐existed in comparison to that of the allopatric populations. Niche overlap was lower in sympatric populations on islands with mammalian prey, however, niche overlap was not reduced on small islands without mammalian prey. Obtained data suggest that mink and otter compete for food resources and, when alternative prey sources are available, mink become more generalist predators to avoid competition with otters. However, when alternative prey sources are not available, both species become more generalist. Copyright © 1995, Wiley Blackwell. All rights reserved

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Zoology

Publication Date





435 - 444