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


  • Rick Rosatte Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Wildlife Research and Development Section, Trent University, 2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 7B8
  • Paula Kelly 385 Arbor Pine Drive, Ortonville, Michigan, 48462
  • Mike Power 8 Tuch Drive, Keswick, Ontario L4P 3P1




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


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.