Home Range, Movements, and Habitat Utilization of Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis) in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada: Disease Management Implications

Rick Rosatte, Paula Kelly, Mike Power

Abstract


A total of 28 Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis) were fitted with radio-transmitters and their movements were monitored in Scarborough (Toronto), Ontario, in 1986 and 1987. Mean annual home range size for combined sex and age classes of Striped Skunks was 0.9 km2 (SD = 1.4) (range = 0.1-5.0 km2). Home ranges were smaller during winter (avg = 0.04 km2, SD = 0.05) than during fall (avg = 0.67 km2, SD = 1.09) (P = 0.055) but not different from ranges during spring (avg = 0.25 km2, SD = 0.31) or summer (avg = 0.27 km2, SD = 0.43). Nightly movements ranged between 0.1 km and 3.0 km and were greatest during October. Skunks were located more often in field habitats (56% of observations) than in residential (23%), field/industrial (10%), or industrial (8%) habitats. Ecological data on Striped Skunks were used in the design of rabies control tactics for use in urban areas in Ontario, Canada.

Keywords


Striped Skunk; Mephitis mephitis; home range; movements; Scarborough; Toronto; Ontario

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