Habitat Use of Western Spotted Skunks and Striped Skunks in Texas

Authors

  • SEAN A. NEISWENTER,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biology, Angelo State University, 2601 West Avenue N, San Angelo, TX 76909, USA
      E-mail: neiswent@unlv.nevada.edu
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Department of Biological Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-4004, USA

  • ROBERT C. DOWLER

    1. Department of Biology, Angelo State University, 2601 West Avenue N, San Angelo, TX 76909, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

E-mail: neiswent@unlv.nevada.edu

Abstract

ABSTRACT Little information on foraging habitats of sympatric species of skunks in Texas, USA, is available. We compared 11 western spotted skunks (Spilogale gracilis) and 10 striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) using radiotelemetry data to assess habitat use during foraging at broad levels of selection in a fragmented habitat. Western spotted skunks used areas with more large mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) trees than did striped skunks and randomly selected points. Striped skunk habitat use was not different from randomly chosen locations. Contrary to previous research, both species appear to avoid agricultural habitat. A habitat management plan may be difficult to implement for striped skunks in Texas because they did not favor any available habitat. Conservation of western spotted skunks in west-central Texas should focus on areas with older mesquite trees, areas that are now often brush controlled for management of livestock.

Ancillary