Spilogale putorius interrupta (Plains Spotted Skunk) has been documented to host a variety of macroparasites, but the impacts of these infections are largely unknown. We emphasize the importance of incorporating disease-ecology components into ongoing field-research studies by revisiting previously collected data on infection by the metastrongylid nematode Skrjabingylus chitwoodorum (Skunk Cranial Worm) in an Arkansas population of Plains Spotted Skunks that was monitored as part of a large-scale field study. Our reevaluation of the infection data suggests estimates of prevalence based on fecal flotations may underestimate true prevalence and that positive infection status may be correlated with smaller home-range size in female Plains Spotted Skunks. We encourage further research to better understand effects of this and other parasites on Spotted Skunk population vital rates and distribution.
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Vol. 20 • No. sp11