Summer foods of the Andean hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus chinga) in Patagonia


All correspondence to: M. Delibes, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, Apdo. 1056, 41080 Sevilla, Spain. E-mail:


The Andean hog-nosed skunk Conepatus chinga inhabits South America from Bolivia in the north to as far south as Neuquén province in Argentina (Redford & Eisenberg, 1992). In spite of its wide distribution and its value as a furbearer in Argentina (Fujita & Calvo, 1982), little is known about Andean hog-nosed skunk ecology, including its foods. It seems to forage solitarily during the night in open savannas and in arid and shrubby areas (Cabrera & Yepes, 1960; Mares et al., 1996), capturing arthropods (mainly beetles and arachnids) and occasionally small mammals and preying on eggs and fledgling birds (Cabrera & Yepes, 1960; Redford & Eisenberg, 1992; Mares et al., 1996). Here we present the first quantitative study on the diet of this species, based on the analysis of faeces collected during the summer season in two localities in Argentinean Patagonia.