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Spatial Organization of a Prairie Striped Skunk Population during the Waterfowl Nesting Season

Serge Larivière and François Messier
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1998), pp. 199-204
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3802279
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3802279
Page Count: 6
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Spatial Organization of a Prairie Striped Skunk Population during the Waterfowl Nesting Season
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Abstract

Information on the spatial organization of the striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is required for the management of this species as a predator of waterfowl eggs. Radiocollared striped skunks were tracked in southcentral Saskatchewan from April through August, 1993 (6 M, 13 F) and 1994 (2 M, 15 F). Home ranges (100% minimum convex polygon) of males (11.6 ± 2.8 km2, n = 5) were larger (P < 0.01) than those of females (3.7 ± 0.3 km2, n = 21). Similarly, core areas of males (3.0 ± 1.2 km2) were larger (P < 0.01) than those of females (1.0 ± 0.1 km2). Extensive intrasexual overlap occurred among home ranges (71 ± 4%) and core areas (26 ± 7%) of females. Daily ranges of striped skunks did not vary with sex or biological season (preparturition, parturition-rearing, predispersal, dispersal), and averaged 1.39 ± 0.26 km2 for males and 1.11 ± 0.17 km2 for females. Neither males nor females scent-marked, and all individuals were solitary (except females with young). Females are likely more important predators of duck eggs than males because females are more abundant, have overlapping ranges, and travel their home ranges more intensively.

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