Out Wit Skunks

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Weasels, badgers, skunks, and otters: An entry from Thomson Gale's Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia by Serge Larivière, PhD

Skunk Habitat

Skunk Habitat

Skunk Habitat is fairly common among all species. In the wild they choose areas that are more open including clearings in forests, and prairies. They live in pastures and the open areas along forest edges. They are quite common in suburban areas where there are nearby streams or some sort of water source within two (2) miles.
Skunk Habitat-Range

Skunks are native to North America with the exception of the Asian Badger who was only recently added to the skunk family by scientists. The Striped Skunk’s habitat range is found fairly far north but does not extend as far as Alaska. Its southern range extends only slightly into Mexico. The Spotted Skunk is also found throughout the United States but is not found much further north than the United State’s northern border, but is found through Central America. The range of the other two (2) species is somewhat smaller and is illustrated in the table below based on sub-species.

SCIENTIFIC NAME

COMMON NAME

RANGE

 

Mephitis mephitis

Stripped Skunk

All of the United States and most of Canada.

Striped Skunk Habitat Map
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Spilogale putorius

Eastern Spotted Skunk

All of the Eastern United States through eastern Texas, Wyoming and Colorado and south into Central America.

Eatern Spotted Skunk Habitat Map
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Spilogale gracilis

Western Spotted Skunk

All of the Western United States

Western Spotted Skunk Habitat Map
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Conepatus leucontus leucontus

Eastern Hog-nosed Skunk

Found only in Southeastern Texas and Eastern Mexico

 

Mephitis macroura

Hooded Skunk

Mexico, and middle elevations in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico

Hooded Skunk Habitat Map
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Conepatus chinga

Molina's Hog-nosed Skunk

Mid and Southern South America

 

Spilogale pygmaea

Pigmy Spotted Skunk

Small area of Mexico's Pacific coastline

 

Conepatus humboltii

Humbolt's Hog-nosed Skunk

Argentina and Chile

 

Conepatus semistriatus

Striped Hog-nosed Skunk

Mexico south to northern Peru and eastern Brazil

 

Individually, the average home range of the skunk is one-half to two (2) miles but is often extended during breeding season when males may trek out as much as five (5) miles to find a mate.

Skunk Habitat-Dens

Skunks are not that industrious when it comes to building a home opting instead to move into one that has already been built or even lived in. They will take up residence in hollow logs and tree crevices. Skunks are all too often found living under porches and decks and in abandoned buildings or structures including culverts and drain pipes. They are good climbers and have been known to make a home in attic spaces and in hay lofts.

Most animals will lay their hat in an old burrow from another animal such as a woodchuck or ground squirrel. To stay warmer in the winter they will plug the entrances of their dens with grass and leaves to keep the cold air at bay.

Female skunks may share their dens with other skunks, usually females, but males normally prefer to live alone.

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