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1 July 1999 Selection by Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) of Farmsteads and Buildings as Denning Sites
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In the Canadian prairies maternal dens of striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) are often located under a building in a farmstead. However, not all farmsteads or buildings are used by skunks, suggesting that striped skunks have specific preferences. To test this hypothesis, we measured a variety of parameters of farmsteads and buildings present in an area where striped skunks were intensively radio-tracked from 1993–1995. Farmsteads that were used by skunks as maternal dens or resting sites did not differ from unused farmsteads by number of buildings, degree of use by humans, distance to water or habitat availability within a 1-km radius. However, buildings that were used for dens could be differentiated from buildings not used for dens by the presence of a closed space underneath them. The presence of a closed space underneath a building floor is important for striped skunks, possibly because of low construction and maintenance costs of dens, thermoregulatory advantages and reduced predation risk. Abandoned buildings suitable for skunks may be managed by removal, or by more effective exclusion or trapping of resident skunks.

SERGE LARIVIÈRE, LYLE R. WALTON, and FRANÇOIS MESSIER "Selection by Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) of Farmsteads and Buildings as Denning Sites," The American Midland Naturalist 142(1), 96-101, (1 July 1999).[0096:SBSSMM]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 October 1998; Published: 1 July 1999

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